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What is Horror?


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#1 F. D. Sawyer

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 11:43 PM

Just thought I would throw this question out there. Might make for a fun discussion... :wink:

#2 Determined1

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:06 PM

Horror is an event that violates our bedrock values about the nature of the universe and the proper role people have in it.

#3 MACaver

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:21 AM

Alfred Hitchcock once wrote: I'm paraphrasing but will look up the original source in a bit. It's late where I'm at.
There's a distinct difference between Terror and Horror... Terror is where you're locked in a room full of people and there's a bomb about to go off. Horror is after the bomb has exploded and you're the only one left alive.

Hope that helps.

Other quotes from the master:

Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.
Alfred Hitchcock

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
Alfred Hitchcock
If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely.
If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative.
In our thoughts and words we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths.
Our limitations or joys begin in our hearts.
~ Bettie Eadie

#4 Gwen Ellery

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:41 AM

I think horror has a very similar structure to thrillers and suspense, but the archetypes and taboos are more shocking for most people's psyche. It's like the difference between a fairytale about a real witch eating children and a story about people who wear witch masks while they rob a bank and get chased and caught. One is a deeper violation of what our psyche can handle and--we hope--cathart. I think thrillers, mystery, and suspense are more head-centered, left-brained and based on social order/disorder, while horror is more body-focused, more right-brained and nightmarish.

#5 Peter W

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:54 AM

Alfred Hitchcock once wrote: I'm paraphrasing but will look up the original source in a bit. It's late where I'm at.
There's a distinct difference between Terror and Horror... Terror is where you're locked in a room full of people and there's a bomb about to go off. Horror is after the bomb has exploded and you're the only one left alive.

Hope that helps.


On the money!
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

#6 wrparrish

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

Alfred Hitchcock once wrote: I'm paraphrasing but will look up the original source in a bit. It's late where I'm at.
There's a distinct difference between Terror and Horror... Terror is where you're locked in a room full of people and there's a bomb about to go off. Horror is after the bomb has exploded and you're the only one left alive.

Hope that helps.

Other quotes from the master:

Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.
Alfred Hitchcock

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
Alfred Hitchcock


This is it, absolutely.

For me personally, when I'm writing horror (or anything, but horror especially), I like the idea of the reader having an idea of where things may be going and not wanting the character(s) to reach that point. The feeling of inevitability with someone you've grown to care about to me is terrible and it doesn't require gore to get the unease across. Horror should be a slow build, not a screeching piano note when something mundane walks into the frame.

#7 Countrymouse

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

Alfred Hitchcock once wrote: I'm paraphrasing but will look up the original source in a bit. It's late where I'm at.
There's a distinct difference between Terror and Horror... Terror is where you're locked in a room full of people and there's a bomb about to go off. Horror is after the bomb has exploded and you're the only one left alive. < = = = = = LOVE THAT!!

Hope that helps.

Other quotes from the master:

Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.
Alfred Hitchcock

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
Alfred Hitchcock


Conventional opinion is the ruin of our Souls. ~Rumi~

#8 Sherry_Soule

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:46 PM

The horror genre aims to create a sense of fear, panic, alarm, and dread for the reader.

Snippet below copy and pasted from HWA:

What is Horror Fiction?

That's a difficult question. In recent years the very term has become misleading. If you tell people you write horror fiction, the image that immediately pops into their minds is one of Freddy Krueger or maybe Michael Myers, while you were hoping for Shelley's Frankenstein or Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The popularity of the modern horror film, with its endless scenes of blood and gore, has eclipsed the reality of horror fiction. When you add to that a comprehension of how horror evolved as both a marketing category and a publishing niche during the late eighties -- horror's boom time -- it's easy to understand why answering the question of what today's horror fiction actually is has become so difficult.

Hope this helps!

Keep reading,

~Sherry Soule

 

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#9 blaineboy

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:17 AM

Horror is something creepy, something belongs to paranormal activities, ghosts and spirits.

#10 Jason Bixler

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:44 AM

Horror to me... is a broad spectrum of things that all tie back to one origin: Fear. Things that go bump in the night. Things that defy rational explanation. Things that threaten to steal from us the things that we love, like security, safety, comfort, companionship, etc. Effective horror builds through anticipation of some terrible impending event, or through suffering the aftermath, it is more the psychological experience than the physical. Scarier than the actual monster is the unseen, unknown, and indescribable that resides in the darkness just beyond the reach of the camp fire's glow because we just don't know what it is capable of. What is scarier, getting cut, or knowing you are about to get cut? It is more than a door suddenly slamming shut behind you as you creep through a darkened hallway, or something jumping out in front of you when you're least expecting it. The best horror incorporates all of it. Just my two cents.
"Do you read Sutter Cane?"-- In the Mouth of Madness.




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