Horror and Scary Stories

The WriYe blog topic this October/Halloween month is ”Your thoughts on horror/gore/scary stories?” and I thought about skipping this month as my thoughts are short – I hate those kinds of stories.

Seriously I am the biggest wuss in the world. I can’t take jump scares of any kind. I get unnerved really easily and once I am freaked out, I am scared for days. Every noise, every shadow, feels like a threat. I close my eyes and I imagine things that scare me are right there, that they are on me. I have nightmares about that.

So yeah I have to steer clear of all kinds of horror and scary stories – or do I?

The Mummy. I didn’t watch this movie or the beloved sequel The Mummy Returns for YEARS because they were listed as ’horror’. I have no idea why. I was more scared of Casper the friendly ghost than I was of either of those movies. They weren’t scary in the slightest. I absolutely adore them and bought the DVDs so I could rewatch them as much as I wanted. I could write an essay on how good those two Mummy movies were but I digress. My point I am making is – is it possible that horror and scary don’t equal the same thing?

Horror and gore aren’t the same. I mean let’s face it CSI could get very gory and I have seen a lot of that. I have never liked the bugs and usually close my eyes to that (I have a bug phobia) but the blood etc. is no trouble.

Maybe it comes down to tone? The Librarians did a ’haunted house’ episode and that had spooky/horror elements but I wasn’t scared. Stargate did a ’horror’ episode called ’The Tomb’ which again didn’t scare me. I think there was supposed to be a pulse-pounding fear of the ’evil among us’ but the vibe wasn’t scary. There was an episode of Dark Matter which had zombies and we see one of them gnawing on a leg I think? And to be honest I found it more funny than scary. How it was shot, or the music, or something, just meant yeah it was ’horror’ but not scary.

I also think that experience plays a role. I think when I was 18 if I had watched The Mummy I would have been really freaked out. Growing up I didn’t watch any fantasy/sci-fi really. I saw a few things and they mostly scared me. We watched Jurassic Park at school and I jumped so hard that I pulled tendons in my arm. I did the same thing with the Chamber of Secrets movie and the giant snake. (Side note: I really do hate snakes. There are a few things that do still bother me a lot, and snakes are one of them. I absolutely can’t take them in any form. If I see a snake or I think about one I am jumpy for days picturing that there’s one lurking going to get me.)

But yeah I am a lot less bothered by ’creepy’ special effects these days. I’m not phased by monsters because I have seen a bunch now and it’s no big deal. So maybe that makes some horror ok, but if it’s intended to be scary then it’s a big no-no. I am very jumpy at the best of times (seriously any unexpected noise and it’s instant panic attack). Same with gore, blood etc. no trouble but animals (bugs, snakes and the like)? And that’s a big nope. Maybe in the end that means horror is what horrifies the individual. Hmm, that’s a thought.

Turns out I had something to say after all 🙂