As the title implies, this is a self aware horror movie, a love-it-or-hate-it experience. While one expects story twists and gruesome violence in horror movies, A Classic Horror Story takes the twists to extreme and/or absurd levels, and the violence ultimately leads to a discussion on violence in horror movies, consumption of violence in media, and the public's seemingly insatiable appetite for violence, either in story or in "reality" entertainment. The audience itself is implicated, and even Netflix is implicated. The title and the first two acts of the movie, with horror movie trope after trope, and nods to so many other horror movies, comes across as the kind of cynical irony often employed in movies where making money takes precedence over any pretensions of artistic expression, but the third act, after so much unpleasant blood and gore, turns the movie into something else.
A Classic Horror Story's confrontation with itself, its genre, its streaming service, and its audience will be provocative to some, overwrought to others. It will anger some, when these same people should reserve their anger less for this movie's messages on horror and violence and more for how uninspired, cheesy, and gratuitous most horror movies are. That said, the movie wants it both ways. It uses the very violence it confronts to the same extremes as any other gory horror movie, and so much blood and so many body parts are shed before the "big reveal" that pranks and implicates everyone. While one hopes that the meta self criticism employed by the filmmakers is a comment on their own part in the very industry they're confronting, it's hard to tell if that part of the movie's message is earnest reflection or smug cynicism. Still, in a genre known more for heart skips and adrenaline, this is surprisingly thought-provoking.