Why is horror lit so consistently shit?

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

Why is horror lit so consistently shit?

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Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

Words aren't scary.

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

books can't have jump scares

King_Martha
King_Martha

There's more to horror than jump scares

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

jump scares are thrills not horrors! 99% of horror movies are THRILLERS

cum2soon
cum2soon

he thinks im serious

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w8t4u
w8t4u

he isn't being serious

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askme
askme

Because horror has been replaced with spooky jumpscares in the unconscious mind so now it's what you expect when you consume anything labeled as horror. It's not possible to startle you on paper so your expectations or demands can't be met.

massdebater
massdebater

Because horror has been replaced with spooky jumpscares in the unconscious mind
This is nonsense

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

I disagree

Methnerd
Methnerd

I'm going to stream of conscious a story where you both come to an agreement

Flameblow
Flameblow

not printing a picture of a lifelike spider on one of the pages

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

maybe it's because there's a lack of illustrations?

TechHater
TechHater

There's actually a glut of decent horror lit you just have to dig deep for it. I'll throw you this one for free: Throne of Bones - Brian McNaughton

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FastChef
FastChef

because horror genre is supposed to be read by teenagers

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

This
Girl teenagers at that

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

"Throne of Bones" is a masterpiece of dark fantasy.
Pass. Trust me, I've dug plenty. There's like one good horror novel for every 100 bad/medicore ones.

Nojokur
Nojokur

Pass

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Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

Arthur Machen
Algernon Blackwood
M. R. James
Ramsey Campbell
Robert Aickman

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BinaryMan
BinaryMan

bc we aren't used to it
people back then shat their pants with frankestein or dracula, but if you give that book to any person below 25yo and then you show him a movie about it he will likely prefer the movie.

It's not that we are dumber, we just have a lot of alternatives for horror that make literature more of a niche.

This is also retroactive, as most of us will try to emulate films and videogames instead of literature when it comes to writing, since we are more used to them and we have more relatable experiences with them, or instead we try to carbon copy other authors bc we can't truly understand how to create horror.

tl:dr we are outdated

Evilember
Evilember

It's a shame Anne Rice won't touch religion like in the 80s.

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Methnerd
Methnerd

I'd really rather you didn't desu

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

being afraid of spiders
I found the Midwesterner.

King_Martha
King_Martha

name five contemporary horror novels that are both good and not written by Stephen King

SomethingNew
SomethingNew

Horror rarely actually frightens its reader, a good horror novel makes you think about it, it makes you remember its contents and makes you compare them with everyday life. A good example is the last few pages of Island of Dr Moreau.

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

I like horror, but it's not a genre that lends itself to good novels, and often not even good short stories. It's pretty hard to scare an audience through just the written word if they're over the age of, like, 14 (which is probably why the audience for creepypasta on the internet is largely kids). It's easier to make a scary movie or a scary game because those are more immersive experiences and, as someone else ITT put it, you can't put jump scares into a book. I'd take that even farther and say you can't even create a spooky atmosphere to the same extent without visuals and sound.

To me, the best horror lit is not good because it is "scary", but because it functions well as fiction in general and makes good use of the uniquely dark, weird tropes of the genre. At its best it leaves unsettling mental images in your head and leaves you feeling sort of... unnerved. The best horror stories are those that don't spook you right away, but you think about them again when you're trying to sleep. Or else, the best horror lit is not really horror lit, but works of other kinds of literature that make use of horrific elements.

FastChef
FastChef

I'm Australian you faggot.
And nowhere did I say I was afraid of them.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

The Quran

Emberfire
Emberfire

There's like one good horror novel for every 100 bad/medicore ones.

This applies to every genre in every medium

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

it relies on the grotesque aspect a bit 2 much

Soft_member
Soft_member

- It's excessively influenced by pop media like television and films, which translates poorly to literature. Characters speak like sitcom and thriller screenplays, there's an over reliance on gore and disgusting images (which often aren't scary so much as they're just gross),
- The tone is either hilariously self-important or overly detached and ironic
- It's difficult to deliver fantastic images in a convincing way, which is essential if horror is to be effective
- The single biggest problem is when the writer attempts to combine beauty and unease and fails. If they don't have the technique or the content to back the technique, the end product is the literary equivalent to a Nightmare before Christmas sweatshirt

There's a lot of good horror fiction, but it works better with restraint and formalism, which isn't so common in modern times. The best of horror authors are long dead Victorian ghost story writers and dark Romanticists like M.R. James and Poe

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

genre fiction is made by people dumb enough to like genre fiction, which keeps it band and then it only appeals to people who like it's badness and so-on

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

Came here to post exactly this.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

Yes they can. First you start out writing normally. Then. ALL CAPS!

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

youtube.com/watch?v=9YrDQ18P9x4

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

I had read Ligotti, but still haven't read Lovecraft and Poe.

iluvmen
iluvmen

triggered

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

because the true horror is written in history books and political works

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

This, but without Ramsey.
Add Ligotti.
All of them first rate writers. Ain't gonna argue with antigenrebigots in 2018.