Old 11-11-2019, 07:26 AM
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JamesGBoswell JamesGBoswell is offline
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 8
How comfortable are you with ambiguity?

One thing I've noticed is that there's a spectrum when it comes to comfort levels with ambiguity as a plot device in horror. Some people prefer the very ambiguous, creeping, growing dread of existential horror like in Bird Box, while others prefer the explicit, in-your-face, "I'm going to kill you right now with this knife I'm holding in my hand"-sort of unambiguous terror like in slashers and gore-fests.

I fall almost completely on the side of the former; I don't want to see what the monster looks like or even know if there's really a monster there at all, I just want to be afraid that there could be a monster and believe it's probably horrible, if so. What about you?
Check out That Feeling When You Know You're Doomed. It's a collection of short, existential horror stories inspired by the Twilight Zone and H.P. Lovecraft. Learn more here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S3Z6LK8

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Old 02-13-2020, 10:05 AM
MockTurtle MockTurtle is offline
Little Boo
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 7
I'm inclined to agree

When you said "ambiguity" I thought you meant something slightly different. I was thinking sort of Kafka's Metamorphosis type stuff where the explanation for how he turned into a giant insect is never there.

But yeah, I really feel you. The crux of horror is mystery. Imagine if for example the plot of Spiderman really happened. It would be a very scary experience but we don't call this movie a horror. It's an action movie. Horror is about something much less obliging, something much less understandable. It needs to be something that goes beyond our comprehension (at least for the moment).

When I was watching "The Double Life of Veronique" I remember being intrigued throughout and then the screen went black. I said out loud "If credits start rolling I am going to be so ticked" and then they did. But Veronique is not a horror movie and I think if I rewatched it I would get it more.

I want a horror movie to recreate a sense of helplessness in me and I agree totally, you can't see too much. I'm not saying categorically they should never show things (like what the monster looks like) but if a person want's to see all the viscera from the beginning or have the identities of everything explained (like a lot of people wanted after watching "The hole in the ground") then I think they don't want horror. They want supernatural thrillers or adventure movies. Which is fine.

As much as I love movies like Hostel, Evil Dead or The Thing, sometimes when I hear people mention "Slow Burn Horror" I think: "As Opposed to what?"
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Old 06-13-2020, 10:50 AM
Dream Follies Dream Follies is offline
Little Boo
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by MockTurtle View Post
Horror is about something much less obliging, something much less understandable. It needs to be something that goes beyond our comprehension (at least for the moment)...
I like that. Something beyond our comprehension, and this makes me think of another feeling that often comes along with horror...the feeling of awe...
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:40 AM
Tricker Tricker is offline
Scares Little Kids
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 14
I enjoy books with ambiguity, especially the ending, but there's nothing wrong with horror that's full on. One recent book I read that applies ambiguity well is Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay.
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