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#1
Old 10-28-2013, 08:33 PM
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The four types of horror.

Right. So Stephen King once divided the horror genre in three sub-genres: The "gross out", with gore and violence, "horror", when there are supernatural elements, and "terror", when the unease comes from more subtle touches of weirdness.

Far be it from me to correct the man, but I find that definition lacking. I would like to expand the types to four, and each one will have self-explanatory names.


1 - Physical Natural Horror: In this case, the fear comes from a character being under direct physical threat of pain, suffering and/or death from real world circumstances. As in slasher movies where the murderer is a regular person, or scary movies where the threat is an animal, a virus, even a truck.

2 - Physical Supernatural Horror: Still the direct fear of death is the main plot drive, but in this case the threat has unknown, esoteric elements outside our knowledge. A slasher movie where the murderer can't be killed, or is a magical doll, for instance.

3 - Psychological Natural Horror: The fear comes from more complex issues than just avoiding pain, but still by what we identify as natural elements, like the fear of losing your mind, your identity... like the FBI agent surrounded by darkness, hunted by a killer with night vision googles, she'll have to overcome a natural fear of the dark, not just a psychopath.

4 - Psychological Supernatural Horror: Again a fear that comes from inside the mind of the character, but with elements outside our knowledge. Most asian horror movies follow this path, like the character from the Ring is not chased directly by a monster, but there is a tense countdown until something undetermined and supernatural happens.


Thoughts?
#2
Old 10-29-2013, 01:56 PM
Right Hand of the Master
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Hmm. Interesting. I'd just like to point out that one of the successes is PSYCHO when it was first released (when the secrets were still secrets). The film starts as a simple theft, but then we get (1) Physical Natural Horror (fear of the characters being killed by that maniacal woman with a huge knife) and the revelation is (3) Pyschological Natural Horror at learning Norman's secret.
#3
Old 10-29-2013, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
Hmm. Interesting. I'd just like to point out that one of the successes is PSYCHO when it was first released (when the secrets were still secrets). The film starts as a simple theft, but then we get (1) Physical Natural Horror (fear of the characters being killed by that maniacal woman with a huge knife) and the revelation is (3) Pyschological Natural Horror at learning Norman's secret.
Mmmh... I wouldn't say that Psycho goes ever particularly physical, since even the shower scene comes after a deep sense of creepiness that makes us (the audience) increasingly scared the more we see how many things are "off" at Bates Motel.

Psycho is fairly subtle, and therefore fairly well rooted in category 3, at least for me. Of course there's hardly any movie that doesn't cross over at some point or other.
#4
Old 10-29-2013, 03:58 PM
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I like how you are dividing it, however I think you need some sort of matrix for it.

For example, gore.

All categories you listed could be subdivided into the level of gore.

1. Implications are everything: the screen never shows any direct obvious gore, but it is implied. What is left to the imagination can be much more terrifying.

2. Bit of a Mess: sort of like a horror paint-by-number, the author/director gives you the gist of what is happening, but leaves the rest to you. Example: as the victim runs they snap their ankle. You know the ankle is snapped and see the victim fall, but not a bleeding closeup of severed bone.

3. Wish I hadn't Saw That: Basically, any of the Saw movies.
#5
Old 10-30-2013, 09:20 PM
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Level of gore and level of horror are different, methinks. And suspense is different yet. Horror can be something as simple as a tapping at a window lattice. >squawk< Nevermore.

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