Horror may seem an odd choice for recreational reading, and to a person who doesn’t get it, there is no explanation you can offer that can make it reasonable. After all, our most visceral fear kicks in when our lives are in danger, and who in their right mind wants to have their lives in danger on a regular basis… on any basis? The answer, surprisingly, is a whole lot of us! So, what’s the attraction?
Say the word “horror” to a person of my generation, and we likely conjure up visions of those old 1950s monster movies where atomic radiation has given rise to giant bugs, giant rodents, giant reptiles, blobs. A child of the 80s might jump immediately to slashers by the gross. Space aliens had their heyday in the 70s, and vile, savage crimes play their part across the years. Gory slashers, while not my cup of blood, are timeless. So what, exactly, is the attraction?
There are as many theories as there are theorists, but the one I’ve seen the most is that feeling we get at the end when the Final Girl thwarts the monster, human or not, to escape or even in some cases, to kill it. This person we’ve been rooting for through a whole book or movie has made it out intact, and by hanging on in the face of all that’s unholy, so have we. People who subscribe to this theory believe it’s the catharsis that we’re after.
Maybe. Of course, there’s a whole category of folks who ride roller coasters simply because they enjoy having the b’jesus scared out of them. Maybe that’s who we’re dealing with. I don’t pretend to know; I just know that it’s popular. I recall a horror movie spoof from the 80s or 90s that began with a title card that read something very close to this:
“This movie is based on a true story:
Last year, over twenty horror movies were released.
None of them lost money.”
So, this is who we deal with, people who want to be frightened, and if the stats are anywhere close to right, the world is full of them. Be it suspense, mystery, body horror, femjep (female in jeopardy), monsters of ancient legend or brand-new arrivals from space, people love it. We at this website come at it from different angles, and even through different art forms, but the common Thread that Binds us is our desire to entertain those whose entertainment involves mortal peril. Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be holding discussions of how we do it, what it brings us, and what we hope it brings you, and we very much hope you’re along for the ride. So, climb aboard. We won’t bite… unless you want us to. Our only goal is to scare the hell out of you. Are you in?
2 responses to “The Fear We Choose”
Jack, are you sure that your nickname isn’t Mr. Fear?
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Pretty sure, yeah… I just have a clear understanding of what pegs my fun meter, and that’s what I write about. I think a lot of fears are universal, so I should be able to fake it for quite a while!
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