Where would you place the line between dark fantasy and "true" horror? I think it is important to draw a distinction, as dark fantasy and horror are fairly distinct. I often hear that people who read dark fantasy don't like horror and vice versa.
What's interesting is that "dark" is such a nebulous term in fiction. It could mean anything from dystopian or amoral to horror-inspired.
Here is my understanding of it:
- Aims to unnerve, frighten, disturb, disgust.
- Intrusion of horrific element in otherwise normal setting.
- Focuses on the experiences of survivors.
- More explicit than dark fantasy.
- Aims to tell a "darker," grittier fantasy story.
- Can sometimes offer a more sympathetic view of the monsters.
- Focuses on the experiences of heroes fighting monsters.
- More atmospheric than horror.