What is horror?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the world of genres. A frustrating subject. Impossible to ignore, no matter how much you want to. But nevertheless, I think it’s important to keep the discussions open.
The Horror Writers Association tries to define what horror fiction is: “What makes horror literature so pervasive is that its need to evoke the necessary atmosphere and sense of emotional dread is utterly dependent on who we are as readers — as people.” The purpose of this “genre” if you will, has the express purpose of creating a sense of dread and fear. Everyone has fears, but not necessarily the same ones. Not everyone is afraid of the dark. Some are laughing at clowns, some are terrified of them (and, yes, people should be).
Therefore, defining horror fiction is a difficult task. If the purpose of horror fiction is to create unease and dread, couldn’t every single movie or book about the Holocaust be considered horror fiction? Or what about books based on the Josef Fritzl case, or murderous religious sects, or the Bible for that matter?
Well, I believe that the question of fiction is important. The horror genre is supposed to be entertainment, although dark and macabre. It’s a representation of the dark impulses in the human psyche, with supernatural elements, or inhuman creatures, or fictional serial killers as a focal point to express these impulses in a fictional frame. Movies or books based on real-life events are, also, representations, with the express purpose to entertain (or “educate”) people, always with artistic license and exaggerations.
Fear speaks to all of us.
And there is a need for us to channel the fear, and satisfy the dark impulses in our souls.
Horror fiction is needed.
I will definately continue with these ramblings in the future, but if you have anything to add to this, or critizise…
Well, my friends, that’s the reason why God created the comments section.