Escape Artists

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  • Congratulations to the winners of the Podcastle flash fiction contest!

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Congratulations to the winners of the Podcastle flash fiction contest!

Author Topic: What horror do you like? What don't you like?  (Read 17386 times)

Obsidianstorm

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  • Posts: 2
Reply #25 on: November 23, 2017, 09:37:58 PM
I enjoy more psychological horror.  I like when things I read or watch twist the characters mind a bit or the audiences.



Marlboro

  • Matross
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  • Posts: 202
Reply #26 on: February 03, 2021, 05:54:32 PM
The question "What Horror do I like?" is much harder to answer than "What don't you like?"



I'm not into torture porn or body horror.  I'm sure there's a time and a place for it, and I'm sure there are some writer's or director's who can execute the style effectively, but it usually just seems like a cheap way to get scares. "Scares" may be too generous; it usually just elicits disgust.


I'm not a fan of M.R. James style ghost stories either. James was a master of creating scenarios which should be frightening, but the structure of his stories robs them of a lot of their potency. Tales of supernatural vengeance can be very good, but "let me tell you about something odd that happened a few years ago" are usually tepid affairs.

 I'm not a big Lovecraft fan wither. HPL wrote some classic stories (Shadow over Innsmouth, The Rats in the Walls) but his style gets really really tiresome. Story after story chock full of verbose expositions about mind-bending geometry and indescribable colors, and unspeakable horrors - my God man would it kill you to just have a story about a werewolf mauling peasants once in a while? Anything to break up the monotony.  What's worse is the legion of imitators who seem to revel in the weakest aspects of his writing.

There are plenty of writers who take Lovecraft's best aspects, his imaginative creations and worlldbuilding, and do some fun stuff with it. Robert Bloch did some fun Lovecraftian stuff without being weighted down by his style. PseudoPod 531: "Gleed" and "A Colder War" by Charles Stross are two modern Lovecraft inspired stories that I liked.  Oddly enough I still enjoy almost all of the works by the HPLHS.



As for what I like...well...I'm not sure. I looked back at a lot of my favorite Pseudopod episodes and I don't really see a common thread. I like a short story with a good twist. I like stories that don't feel formulaic. Good characterization is a bonus but not essential. Looking at the list I'd say that about third of my favorites could be described as "good stories" instead of "good horror stories."