Midnight Pub

A Thought on Horror Stories

~tskaalgard

I was thinking tonight about why I like the horror stories I like. I enjoy stories where the implications of the setting are far scarier than what actually happens in the story. I recently watched In the Tall Grass, which I highly recommend, and the ancient and far-reaching implications of what seems simple on the outside was by far the most unsettling aspect of this movie to me. Then again, I've always enjoyed HP Lovecraft's work, where this is often true. Often the scariest part of a Lovecraft story is the realization that all perceived notions of reality or the nature of the universe are completely incorrect, and the truth is far more ancient and horrible than a human brain can comprehend.

Anyway, don't accidentally wake up Azathoth on your way out ;)


uirapuru

We share similar feelings in this regard. I like horror stories in which the setting is unsettling, like there is always something amiss, a lurking danger. It reminds me of something I read, that many times things that cause intense fear are the ones that are otherwise ordinary, but there is something slightly amiss about it, like clowns, which are clearly human beings but with odd features.

Another thing it reminds me is the famous chess quote "A threat is stronger than the execution". This applies to horror stories too, so it seems.

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whiskeyding

I do wish it was easier to express the existential horror of cosmology better in narrative forms, but perhaps it's better to couch such things as fiction, rather than forcing people to look at the reality of our universe. The soul shrivels away from such knowledge, as it's simply out of scale with our lived experience.

Nyarlathotep is safely remote; an asteroid or gamma ray burst does not bear thinking about.

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tskaalgard

There isn't as much horror in the real universe. Gamma ray bursts aren't as scary as horrible ancient gods, in my opinion. The horror is from realizing everything you know is incorrect.

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