Profiling Britain’s horror fans
November 2nd, 2023, YouGov

Profiling Britain’s horror fans

With Halloween just past, it’s as good a time as any to profile Britons who enjoy horror movies. Data from YouGov Profiles highlights some key differences between this group and the general public.

Let’s start with the basics. Horror fans are slightly more likely to be men than women (54% vs. 46%), compared to the general public (49% vs. 51%). And despite (or perhaps because of) the genre’s common association with screaming teenagers dying in violent ways, younger Britons aren’t actually more likely to be fans of the genre.

People aged 35-54 – those who came of age when films such as Scream, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street might have been in theatres – are most likely to be horror aficionados.

There are also some small. differences in terms of income: horror fans are more likely to be lower income (30% vs. 26% of the public), and less likely to be middle (33% vs. 35%) or higher income (16% vs. 18%); a fifth (20% vs. 22%) prefer not to say.

Horror fans most likely to watch films via streaming services

The most popular method horror fans use to watch films is streaming: some 44% do so compared to 36% of the public. This is followed by free TV channels e.g. BBC/ITV (40% vs. 40%), and films released on or after the official release date at the cinema (32% vs. 33%). They’re slightly more likely to watch things via DVD (23% vs. 19%), pay-to-own services (21% vs. 17%), and paid TV services (21% vs. 18%).

A fifth (19% vs. 17%) use free streaming/download/torrent sites. Among the less popular methods, 12% watch these films on Blu-Ray vs. 8% of the public and 7% vs. 6% watching advance screenings at the cinema.

So overall, home viewing has the advantage – and indeed, 34% vs. 22% of the public say they watch films at home “multiple times a week”.

Horror fans less likely to be happy in their lives

In keeping with the above, horror fans are more likely to agree that streaming services have changed TV watching for them (68% vs. 63%), and that going to the cinema is too expensive (76% vs. 72%).

Looking at general attitudes, horror fans are less likely to say they are satisfied with their lives (56% vs. 67%), or their standards of living (57% vs. 66%). They are more likely to identify as gamers (29% vs. 21%) and TV addicts (35% vs. 29%) – and while they don’t trust the advertisements they see (48% vs. 42%), they are more likely to say they enjoy watching trailers at the cinema (60% vs. 54%). They also express a slight preference for American TV over British TV (24% vs. 18%), and are less likely to say they care about sports (49% vs. 41%).

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles