Does understanding in horror make it scarier?
11523 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M / The Void
Offline
Posted 8/23/14 , edited 8/23/14
Recently, I was inspired to write a horror short story. To gain a better understanding of the genre, I've been reading as much horror as possible (a lot of nosleep and creepypasta) and found several common elements among some of the more popular and "scary" stories, one of which was that it left you with a lack of understanding as to how and why the events were occurring. Of course, nosleeps and creepypastas aren't necessarily the most high brow forms of horror and normally abuse overused elements of horror along with containing several grammatical errors, but there's no denying that there's quite a lot to learn about what terrifies the human mind from them. They, like it or not, are probably the most widespread form of horror today, so what becomes popular among them must be something that affects the human psyche. Let's get back on track, I'm trying to figure out if lack of clear and true understanding of why and how makes a horror story more horrific. As a side question, I'm wondering if a clear background makes the story more or less terrifying. The question is to be answered in context of a story that would work well and be quite scary either way. Personally, I prefer a horror story that clearly explains the whys and hows along with a clear background. I understand humans have a fear of the unknown, but personally I find it off-putting.
20192 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
Offline
Posted 8/23/14
if something is explained to you, it lacks the mystery and mysticism that ones own mind can often conjure up.

If you have ever seen the play Macbeth, a few of the murder scenes often take place off stage, and you only hear the voice and the SFX. Have you ever wondered why?

It leaves the audience to their own devices and it allows them to conjure up any fantasy that comes to mind. It can often make the scene far more gruesome as the imagination often runs wild in situations that are supposed to inspire fear in the audience.

A true horror is something that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next.

I suggest you to actually read professional horror novels done by the likes of Stephen King. He is great writer that mastered the art of horror.

Reading some of HP Lovecraft's short stories will also be a better guiding point than a creepy pasta.


Most creepy pastas are pretty terrible and lack any oomph and lingering fear factor.

Creepy pasta's are ok for just reading, but if your actually trying to gain a better understanding of the horror story genre, i would suggest picking up actual horror novels instead.
31254 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / Brisbane
Offline
Posted 8/23/14 , edited 8/23/14
David Lynch's Eraserhead is one of the most horrifying films of all time. It forces you to confront the most deplorable fears and desires of people without realising it at the time. Subliminal, surrealist horror gets into your blood and leaves questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3i1jd_Cj4o
Posted 8/24/14 , edited 8/24/14
... Umm my imagination sucks but perhaps teenagers and children are the majority who watch those kinds of popular horror you mentioned. Their imagination is likely to make it more scarier and enjoyable.


"oh you are sick"

lol
86044 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / Winter Wonderland
Offline
Posted 8/24/14
I try to stay away from horror....T__T Even if I do understand it or the whole movie/plot/story makes things clear, THEY STILL GET ME! OMG D< The whole surprise popping out thing...and the music... =.= I can't do that...no no no wayyyyyyyy T__T
510 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/24/14
Well,to be scary you must be surprising and unexpected so it is bettter to make things unclear.
11523 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M / The Void
Offline
Posted 8/24/14 , edited 8/24/14

AzazelOfNexium wrote:

if something is explained to you, it lacks the mystery and mysticism that ones own mind can often conjure up.

If you have ever seen the play Macbeth, a few of the murder scenes often take place off stage, and you only hear the voice and the SFX. Have you ever wondered why?

It leaves the audience to their own devices and it allows them to conjure up any fantasy that comes to mind. It can often make the scene far more gruesome as the imagination often runs wild in situations that are supposed to inspire fear in the audience.

A true horror is something that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next.

I suggest you to actually read professional horror novels done by the likes of Stephen King. He is great writer that mastered the art of horror.

Reading some of HP Lovecraft's short stories will also be a better guiding point than a creepy pasta.


Most creepy pastas are pretty terrible and lack any oomph and lingering fear factor.

Creepy pasta's are ok for just reading, but if your actually trying to gain a better understanding of the horror story genre, i would suggest picking up actual horror novels instead.


Yes, I've read most of Lovecraft's short stories, several of King's novels, and quite a bit of Poe's work as well, but what I intend to write doesn't really fall into the same vein of horror as what that they do. I intend to deal with similar elements, but from a very different perspective. I wouldn't say that creepypastas are closer to what I intend to write, I just thought some quick horror stories for some ideas would help considering it's been quite awhile since I last really got into horror. I just started analyzing the ins and outs of horror recently when I started storyboarding my work and don't trust my memory of horror I read long ago. Also, I believe studying poor attempts at horror more clearly shows common elements (considering they almost follow a formula to try and make it scary), what not to do, and how not to execute it. Though nosleeps and creepypastas are closer to urban legends, I feel that there is quite a lot that can be learned from them.
30236 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
It doesn't matter.
Offline
Posted 8/24/14
I had a similar inspiration and went along a similar path then abandoned it.
I wanted to write a murder mystery and realized it followed a similar formula to a magic act in the sense that it's important to let the audience what the result was but not how.
Fear in (general) is a survival instinct and it is primitive and simple.
Spiders are among the most common fears: they are legitimately potentially dangerous, we don't know how to prevent them and most don't know what to do if one is bitten. So evasion is the natural reaction.
public speaking is also common: it's not dangerous but similar reasons for the fear apply so I will c&P
we don't know how to prevent them and most don't know what to do if one is bitten. So evasion is the natural reaction.
True fear is fear of the unknown.
31254 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / Brisbane
Offline
Posted 8/24/14

severticas wrote:

... Umm my imagination sucks but perhaps teenagers and children are the majority who watch those kinds of popular horror you mentioned. Their imagination is likely to make it more scarier and enjoyable.


"oh you are sick"

lol


haha there are quite a few moments where you're torn between the appeal of either just laughing at the insanity of it or crawling shivering into a corner

Though I'm really doubting that your imagination sucks, you've certainly nailed what I like about it. I don't want to have to think pragmatically during horror, because once I'm enabled to make rational arguments about the story I usually find I'm not remotely as scared. I prefer to kind of switch off my conscious intellect and let my imagination properly rampant for a change. Liberating in a way.
7570 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / Vvardenfell
Offline
Posted 8/24/14
As H. P. Lovecraft himself said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”.

That's not all there is to it but keeping people guessing is a pretty significant part of it of course.
12705 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 8/25/14
There's a bit in Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" that I'm unlikely to forget.

It's the description of the Cthulhu cult performing a ritual in a swamp. The language he uses to describe how flesh and blood people gave life to something so twisted and divorced from reality as we know it ails the reader with this overwhelming sense of dread--like when something revolting is near you and you instinctively try to distance yourself. It's in that layer of ambiguity when you juxtapose what you can recognize and what you can't that horror thrives. Lovecraft is horrifying because of the visceral and detailed description of events that don't make any sense at all.

I can still vaguely picture those people just thrashing and wailing in some primal lust of worship, but in that moment they don't really seem like people.

I believe Vsauce did a video on fear and horror you can find on youtube.
Posted 10/16/14 , edited 10/16/14
Yes!!!!

If I don't understand it, it's not scary.
442 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / Local University...
Offline
Posted 10/27/14
Yeah, Have you seen/played any of the Silent Hill games past the first version?
Sailor Candy Moderator
200577 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28
Offline
Posted 12/24/15
"Year-end cleanup. Closing threads with no activity since 2014."
You must be logged in to post.