They say the horror genre flourishes during economic downturns. I'm not an expert in this area, but I would tend to agree. I will say that the genre's darker elements are much more pronounced during these times. For example:
The poor economy experienced during the 1970's resulted in some of the darkest and blackest horror films ever produced (i.e. Last House on the Left, The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). As the 80's and 90's progressed, America experienced a soaring economy and horror films which, for better or worse, were generally not as dark or boundary pushing.
If this principle holds true, we are in store for some mighty dark horror flicks. Ten trillion in debt, a stock market in a state of collapse, and 500 hundred billion owed to China.... let's see what horror goodness the awful economy brings!
Of course, some argue the exact opposite is true. When studios are prospering, they are more likely to take risks... thus begetting horror films that push the envelope. When studios are hurting financially, they are more likely to stick with the tried and true - the sequels and the remakes.
Whatever the case, the heyday of the horror pulp magazine was during the Great Depression (1929 - early 1940's). Looking at some of these magazines, it's hard not to be shocked at how dark and boundary pushing they were... truly the economically depressed forefathers of gritty 1970's horror. As many of these have become public domain, they are now being reprinted and rediscovered.