Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Short, Unhelpful, Derogatory Definition of Horror

We all know that science fiction is "stories about engineers," and fantasy is "stories about secretly royal teenagers," but I haven't known of a similarly sweeping, mostly untrue generalization about horror.

And, damn it, I needed one.

After some unpleasant reading lately, and a little (very little) thought, I've come up with one: horror is "stories about assholes."

Most of the time in a horror story, the main character is an asshole. Quite often, everyone in a horror story is. And the thing-a-ma-bob doing the hacking and slashing is guaranteed to be assholish by its story function.

So, there you have it. I hope it's just as useful as similar pronouncements by people who don't like the things they're complaining about have been down through the ages.

2 comments:

James Nicoll said...

Horror is the genre where all the available choices are bad.

Andrew Wheeler said...

I don't think it's necessarily that all of the available choices are bad, just that the author has his big sweaty hand on the scales and shoves everyone over towards bad decisions as a matter of course.

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