Tag Archives: Horror fiction

Horror: Cheap, Uninventive and Dying?

The new focus in The Horror Seeker is primarily the result of pondering around aesthetics.

As I have already stated in the beginning of my blog, “horror” can be difficult to distinguish because of the somewhat obscure meaning of the term.

However, the horror as a genre (especially in movies) have suffered a lot from the accusations of being a “mindless” genre without any substance, originality, or the lack of aesthetic pleasure. Granted, there are a lot of exceptionally bad works of horror out there, the majority of them from the cinematic world. Laziness is one of the main factors. The easiness of jump scares weights more than well-crafted atmospheric disturbance. Rushed manuscripts are prioritized before well-planned and slowly paced literary texts. The world of horror is by many considered cheap and uninventive.

This doesn’t have to be.

In fact, hope is everywhere.
philosophy of horrorThere are existential questions in the grotesque. There are philosophical questions in terror. There is potential for really poetical imagery or literary achievements, although towards the sphere of the macabre. You just have to look in perspective, and with an open mind. There are several interesting works and authors if put in a social or political perspective. Noël Carroll mentions in his The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart that the genre might be considered xenophobic, introducing urban and strange outsiders as a threat to humanity, in form of fictional monsters. And then there are, of course, the question of women in horror fiction; often presented as helpless victims, damsels in distress, and otherwise the weaker gender, women has often been unjustly treated in both Gothic fiction and horror fiction – and that’s for centuries, not decades!

What do you think?

Is the genre dying?

Is it unjustly treated?

Is it bad entertainment?

Does the genre say more about ourselves than most people realize?

This can create many discussions. And I hope it will. The comments section is always present and invites you to further thoughts about a genre in shifting popularity. If not now, then fortunately in the future.

In short: I’m not going anywhere 😉


Horror: A Definition

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.