What is horror? Is it blood ‘n’ guts? Confrontation with the unknown? A forceful perspective on mortality? In a way; the face of horror fractures into many faces.
Horror doe’s not affect everyone the same: Some people flinch at the sight of blood, while others are unimpressed by its redden nature. Some people are stricken with vertigo, while others thrive on it. Some people cry at shadows that creep across their bedroom wall, while others investigate with a baseball bat.
Not everyone responds to a particular fearful stimuli. There for, in a way, horror reflects our own insecurities; it’s not an absolute distinction—that’s what makes horror tenuously definable.
This personal connection is what separates horror from other genres.
Science-fiction offers visions of technological superiority as romance deals with what makes hearts topple down the cliff of love. While it’s true, not every genre operates under a rigid formula; they non-the-less have absolute characteristics.
Horror can’t scare without your permission
Horror is the face of reality that embodies: sickness, horrible luck, life circumstance—the stuff that takes up residence in our daily lives.
The roots of fear spread deep like a tendril spider’s web that seeps down into the depths of our self; the thread you struggle upon is dependent on the breed of fear that resides in you. This is what allows phobias to spoil our ability to reason.
Trauma or irrationality is a gateway to this personal hell.
Some people detest clowns with a hateful passion. On the outside, what’s to fear? Their goofy attitude should invoke feelings of laughter and happiness, not despair that throbs the heart. Pretty butterflies that flap across a grand azure sky has the potential to make someone shit their pants.
When is the last time a butterfly harmed you? Yet; the fear lives on in someone.
If fear were to look in the mirror what would it see? Its reflection would be fractured into constellations of our own irrationality. We can’t completely fathom each others fear, but we could observe at a distance and attempt to see the pattern outlined in points of illumination.
The human race is cursed with fears that are placed upon us by evolutionary standards
Without this echoing reminder of our mortality; humanity would be a naive species digested in some predator’s stomach acid. When alone at night, with not even the comfort of a gibbous moon, we all hate to hear that snap of a branch or momentary footsteps behind us.
Our heart pumps as breath becomes shallow, eyes scan in orbital sockets while our ears raise to the wind; symptoms of fear are the same for us all.
A disembodied noise allows us to paint a reality inside our mind with past experience and irrational paranoia. Often times that branch you heard snap did so under the weight of a scavenging skunk or some lumbering possum—not some stalker in shadow or monstrous entity that exists to gnaw on human femurs.
…Then again, shadows do provide a darkly estate for those that wish to inflict harm.
There’s a reason for fear’s existence; it’s not completely absurd to be scared of noises we can’t comprehend or visuals that upset are perception of reality. Those are the things that potentially can snatch away our mortality, unlike butterflies or clowns (Unless you’re John Wayne Gacy)
Horror is like an overcast veil that hides a sunset—where it begins and where it ends is an impossibility to perceive; the only certainly is tenuous existence.
2 thoughts on “Monster Theory: Faces in the Mirror”
The fear spectrum in essence.
Also the bit about still being scared of certain things, it always amazes me that after thoooousands of years, no wild animals or even most farm animals will go anywhere near us humans unless conditioned to do so, usually through food. Just a little aside.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Depends on the context. Some wild animals are not conditioned to fear large bipedal mammals (humans). Penguins are a great example. So are a variety of other exotic species. Beavers and mourning doves are great examples of animals that have learned to fear humans (due to hunting).
Thanks for reading! Fear certainly has a spectrum.
LikeLiked by 1 person