My author friend A. F. Stewart writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror, including “horror haikus.” SciFi and Fantasy genres, I get; Horror, not so much. But author David Kummer had some thoughts to share about Why Do People Like Horror.
Why the *beep* do people like Horror? by a Horror Writer
guest post by David Kummer
What is something you hate? What is something you love?
The thing about opinions is that somebody always disagrees with you. There is somebody that loves what you hate, and hates what you love.
What does this have to do with the Horror genre? You might have guessed by now. If you hate it, there’s somebody that likes it. If you like it, there’s somebody that absolutely despises it.
So, now that we’ve got that off the table, let’s talk about why some people actually like Horror.
There are many misconceptions about the genre, and I’ll do my best to dispel those.
First of all, some people see it as a blood-fest, full of gore and disgusting scenes. While there is a subcategory called Splatterpunk that has lots of… um… splatter. But still, if you read a good book, it’ll have a plot and well fleshed-out characters. It’s not just a compilation of blood and guts.
You’ve seen movies, certainly, that seem to have no plot, or little plot, and revolve around the gorey details. With films, you can sometimes make that exception and sell a movie based only on that. With books, you can’t. A good book has plot and characters, always.
The second thing about Horror is that people think it’s all about scares and scary scenes. Like I just said above, a good book isn’t reliant on only one detail. There’s many other aspects of the genre.
There are people that say Horror fans are psychopaths, or we love watching people get hurt.
Here’s the thing. We don’t read about people getting hurt to enjoy it or feel joy at their suffering. It’s almost the opposite. We read to face the things that frighten us, or to get that rush of adrenaline, or just for entertainment. We’re all people. Except for the puppy dogs.
What is good about the genre? There’s a few things. It has the feel of being the “underdog” genre, I guess you could say. When you like it, you feel like you’re in a clique that not many people are familiar with or take part in. So that’s always cool.
There’s always the “facing your fears” aspect that I mentioned earlier. You find, as you write/read about terrifying things, that you aren’t as scared in real life. Because in books and movies, there’s almost always a happy ending, even when situations seem at their bleakest.
And, of course, there’s the scary part of it! I’m gonna chalk this up as saying that it’s fun to be scared, and to scare others. I mean, let’s be honest. One way or another, we’re all a bit scary.
Especially us writers!