Horror is in many ways a unique genre. It has the ability to make us feel frightened, disgusted and fascinated at the same time. During an intense scene in a horror movie or book you often feel tempted to look away, but at the same time you’re “glued” to the screen or page – You can’t let go; you want to see what’s hiding in the dark. Another fascinating aspect of the horror genre is the fact that it remains controversial due to its extreme nature. A lot of critiques argue that horror is not needed and that it does more harm than good, and that statement begs for the question to be asked; what is the purpose of horror?
The first works of horror fiction and the so called gothic horror were written in the 18th century, but it wasn’t before the 19th century that the genre really started to blossom. In this century, a lot of classics that build the very fundament of the genre for years to come were written. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” along with other classics like “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” are brilliant examples of groundbreaking works from the 19th century.
One of the most prominent characteristics of horror is that nothing is too extreme. Horror stories are often explicit and violent, sometimes even to a grotesque extent. This is probably why horror (or at least modern horror) is one of those things that you either love or hate. Especially since the introduction of horror in movies and cinemas, the genre has been controversial. As it is the case with many “extreme” genres like violent computer games or pornography, it’s often argued that the explicit nature of these genres (including horror) can hurt little children or people with “weak” minds. Due to this, some critics claim that horror is not needed and that it should be banned. Furthermore, today it’s very hard to find a horror movie which is acclaimed by movie-critics. There are a few “quality” classics like Psycho, The Shining and The Exorcist, but the vast majority of modern