Do we love
The dreaded question horror fans face
Why would someone like myself, who finds the news too violent and feels upset when one of my houseplants dies, love the horror genre so much?
It’s a question I’ve wondered myself many times. Maybe you have too.
I still remember the nervous excitement I felt turning the dread-filled pages of Cujo when I was eleven. At the local video store in the small town I grew up in, I rented every horror movie I could get my hands on, hardly able to contain my excitement to get home and experience it. And Halloween? It's Christmas as far as I'm concerned.
My love for the horror genre has always been a part of me. At no other moment do I feel more at home than when I’m reading horror or watching horror or talking about horror with other fans. It’s as if every great horror story I find is the home I’ve been searching for on a lifelong journey.
inspiring dread since 1980
I've always been a somewhat dark and stormy person. The inner monsters are never quiet in this head I carry on my shoulders. I'm stoic about it, and have long believed in the importance of 'fake it till you make it.' But in spite of how good I am at 'faking it,' I seem to inspire social dread in certain people, which I don't blame them for.
But one of the secret weapons I've used to defeat some of the inner monsters, and drain the energy from others, is by being curious about them. Curiosity is a force that can be stronger than fear and dread. Curiosity inspires you to explore the dark and stormy parts of yourself, rather than be a victim of them.
Curiosity can set you free.
The freedom to explore
Good vs. evil, hope vs. despair, sane vs. insane, light vs. dark — these are battles that every human contends with, across time, place, culture, etc. What's so great about the horror genre is its capacity for allowing us to explore these aspects of ourselves from the safety of our home. We are free to be curious without suffering the same fate as the horror character who goes into a dark basement to investigate a strange sound.
For me the question isn't, "Why do we love horror?" but rather, "How could we not?"
If you're curious about the light and dark that exists inside you, then I'd like to personally invite you along with me on a dread-inspiring exploration of the horror genre.
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