Carroll (2003) and King (2010) discuss how the “monster” is really a defining feature of a horror story. Using references, explain in your own words how a monster in horror differentiates from monsters in other popular genres.
- As the questions said, the “monster” is really a defining feature of a horror story. In my opinion, the horror stories are similar with the fairytales, but what makes them different? In fact, is the monsters (King, 2010). They are full in this horror fairytale.
Stephen King’s way of writing, people who do not like it will feel wordy, like people really enjoy reading. The delicate environment and psychological description of the characters and monsters create a very strong sense of immersion. When you read a book, you will feel like you are spying on the characters in the novel in that world. After that, you will feel reluctant. Even when you start reading another book, you feel a little uncomfortable.
If wondering how the monsters different with other elements in the horror story, I made some classifications about different kind of monsters with other genres:
- Robot: Terror is cold, emotionless, rigid, temperature-free, but extremely human. There’s a “Valley of Terror” theory that I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that in a situation where robots are extremely human-like, any difference between robots and humans can make people feel disgusted and creepy. The horror of robots is that we both have human shells, but I have feelings. He’s just a cold object, and we get along day and night.
- Monster: Strange shape. It has no fixed form and can be fabricated at will. I want him to be what he is, nausea, creeping, horrible, bloody. Because there is no fixed form, people will consciously imagine him as their heart most afraid, so it highlights the horror of the “monster” (Carroll, 2003).
- Ghost: Most ghosts have fixed appearance, such as long hair and white clothes, but why do these elements make people feel terrible, because of the night and death. Ghosts are always associated with midnight, death and life. The fear of death is hidden in most human hearts, and many people are unaware of it. Because the fear and awe of death, the unpredictability of fate and the discomfort of the silence and depression of the night make this fear. Personally, I think it’s because of the night.
- Murderers: virtuous, indifferent, unsympathetic and immoral. The horror of a murderer lies in the loss of one’s morality and compassion, which is indifferent to everything. I have always felt that the murderers who commit murder are mostly unforgettable, and they are indifferent to death. They are completely empty. People without feelings are empty shells. This point, I mean something like a pleasure offender, because pleasure kills people. Of course, there are people who fear death, blood, and anxiety about whether they will fall on themselves.
All horror stories depend on one thing: an anomaly. In most horror stories, we can see that the hero’s life is affected by “abnormal phenomena”. At the climax of the story, he confronts “monsters” either win or lose. This is the most common horror story structure, we think that real life is just a veil, and is covered with the essence of the universe. The distance from the reality we believe to be true will lead to a little more serious. The meditation can lead to mental breakdown (Hendrix, 2018).
king, S. (2010). Danse Macabre.
Carroll, N. (2003). Philosophy of horror. [Place of publication not identified]: Routledge.
Hendrix, G. (2018). Paperbacks from hell.