The Horror

Hugh Todd

I have a weird interest/non-interest in horror (and by that I mean the genre). I’ve read a number of horror novels and short stories. I don’t usually find them particularly scary, but I can appreciate the way they pull at the strings connected to the pieces of the mind that make people uncomfortable. I will read anything by Stephen King, although it feels to me that he hasn’t written anything truly horror-esque in years. I’ve tried a few others, but never really got hooked on any other authors, with the recent exception of Joe Hill. A few months ago I read Horns¬†and enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t know why, but I assumed he was a fairly unknown writer, so it was a surprise when I found out the book was being made into a movie staring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, for those who don’t know). And then in a recent conversation with my sister, I found out that Joe Hill is actually the pen name of Joseph Hillstrom King, the son of Stephen King. What a coincidence! So far, I’ve read Horns and Heart Shaped Box. Both of them had the instinctive creepiness of his father’s early work, but the satisfying happy endings of his father’s later work. It’s the best of both worlds!

I’ve seen a fair amount of horror movies, although I haven’t really been freaked out by one since I saw Carrie on TV when I was ten or so. Again, I don’t really find them scary, but I appreciate the attempt. So while I don’t really care for the attempts to scare me, I don’t mind the added tension where it fits with in a good story and interesting characters. In fact, my first short story when I first started this whole amazing journey was an attempt at a horror story set in the Diablo universe of my previous employer, Blizzard Entertainment. It was lots of fun to write and I’ve often thought of trying my hand at a horror novel. Of course, I might have trouble finding beta readers for that one.

Anyone have any great examples of horror in any medium? What do you think?