Why make a blog about horror lovin’?
…okay that could be phrased better…
More to the point: why love horror?
Why choose to put a spotlight on it?
Because I think horror gets a bad rap as a genre. I think it gets disrespected, dismissed, for unfair reasons.
It’s seen as cheap thrills, something shallow. And there’s something to be said for that. Horror is extremely marketable—the 20th century has taught us nothing less than that Fear Sells. Whether it’s Willy Horton or Freddy Kreuger, fear in media is easy to make money off of. But that’s the point: this isn’t a niche way of reaching people. Fear gets attention because it’s how we’re hardwired.
Horror’s ties to the supernatural world, to monsters and ghosts, to the fantastical, also cause noses to turn up at it. Much like a certain author who shall not be named has dismissed science fiction as “monsters and spaceships”, horror is easily dismissed as “ghosts and slashers”. But horror’s fantastical elements, much like science fictions, are a key tool for the genre’s best asset: being able to act as a fun house mirror for society. Horror’s ghosts and goblins are more often than not extreme metaphors for societal ills or challenges.
Overall, horror is pointed to as a ‘fringe’ thing to enjoy. It’s for the weirdos. Saying you love horror movies will get a raised eyebrow or an eyeroll. Some folks reading this (or writing this) may have experienced people expressing deep concern over openly enjoying scary things, even harmless books or videogames.
But on the contrary: horror is mercurial, it is relevant, it is smart, it is fun, and it is a universal, lifelong constant.
We can trace scary stories all the way back to the Mesopotamian era. Some form of ghost or demon as a frightening figure is a cultural universal.
Think to your own life and some of the earliest tales you were told. Was it about a man and woman being tricked by the devil? Maybe about a murder and a cursed man? How about a witch or a wolf trying to eat a kid or two? Did your parents threaten that some sort of bogeyman would get you if you didn’t go to bed on time or follow the rules?** These stories are ancient, have their own flavors of terror, act as morality tales, mirror real life problems (strangers, temptation, etc), and… well they’re also pretty fun to listen to.
**Your intrepid host acknowledges that the cited examples are largely Abrahamic and Eurocentric. Feel free to email your intrepid host to share the bogeymen or morality tales told to children in other cultures for future post topics.
And that is another reason why this blog is here.
We are in a time where horror as a genre, as a metaphorical tool, can be extremely powerful.
But at the same time, the day to day banality of evil is far too real in 2019. Horror is also very important as a way of escapism, to play, to release. We could all use a harmless ride on the rollercoaster now and then. There’s medicine in screaming as a game rather than as a genuine sum-up of how life is making us feel.
Going forward, this blog aims to celebrate all aspects of horror from the fun to the contemplative, to hopefully lessen the stigma associated with the genre, and to keep things entertaining.