I wasn’t sure if I had fallen back into loving horror. Then I bought a box set of Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights (the covers remind me of classic Goosebumps—both have bold, creepy designs that don’t rely on gore). Then I binged multiple episodes of The Magnus Archives (the first episode is so good and utterly horrifying). Then discovered, all over again, how much I like Lovecraftian horror in general.
So yeah, here I am again. Staring into that abyss of darkness, with twitching things lying deep at the bottom, and smiling each time something moves to rise.
I don’t know how to fully explain what I like about horror so much. I don’t particularly like being jolted. Jump scares and loud noises do little for me. But those moments when I can feel the dread sinking in; when I’m listening to a story that chills me to the bone: it lights up something in me.
I’m a professional critic, and what that means is you develop a detached view. I can easily distance myself from most movies or shows if I notice some interesting camerawork flourish or spot a small detail. Except for strong, well-done horror. If it’s scary enough, if the ideas in it are creepy enough, then it will pull my mind from all else. It eats my perception for a time, and I get sucked into the story.
Also, and this is a big part of it: I love imagination in storytelling. Just anything wild or out there will get my attention. And, though it’s often gory or demented, the horror genre just has a lot of room to play. There’s little in the way of rules regarding what you can’t do in horror, and that lends it this feeling of unpredictability that most genres don’t have. Anyone can die in a horror story, even the narrator, and that makes it more engaging for me.
So yeah, between all of that, and my love of creature designs in all media (I love monsters), it’s becoming my favorite genre. It’s becoming my way to relax, and I can see myself getting more books and movies soon.