Ruminations on Horror

Horror is the genre I always end up revolving back around to, in the end. Whatever whims I have to read another genre might last a long time, but this is where I always return to, one way or the other. I guess that’s just the way things are, right? Wherever you float away to, something disturbing always waits where you’re sure to meet it along the way.

But anyway… horror to me is like music – there’s something of quality in every type of it, even if it’s hard to find. Like, I don’t prefer “attack-of-the-50-foot-monster” sort of horror, and I have mixed feelings about splatterpunk (though the name ‘splatterpunk’ is awesome) but I get their appeal. I truly love horror poetry, a genre there is simply never enough of, and atmospheric horror is the bomb.

I find also that folklore tends to skirt a hard edge between fantasy and horror, often just falling outright into the latter. Having read a lot of American and German folklore, it seems like they alone have more cannibalism, beheadings and dark occultism than your average horror novel (shoots a glance at the folklore books emanating a bloody aura on their shelf).

But if one has to capture my heart, it’s surreal horror. Surreal horror I guess is a bit of an acquired taste, but I’ve always liked weird, dreamlike things that are horrific for no reason you can really put in words. There is something fundamentally, nightmarishly wrong but when you try to place what it is, it’s gone or it’s changed. That is truly haunting.

-S. M., March 2018

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