Presentation on theme: "Putting the “Horrifying” in “Horror”(based on Elizabeth Barrett’s Article, “Elements of Aversion”). These motifs take away the elements we depend on…they."— Presentation transcript:
Putting the “Horrifying” in “Horror”(based on Elizabeth Barrett’s Article, “Elements of Aversion”). These motifs take away the elements we depend on…they take away the rules we use to deal with reality. They twist our sense of familiar into the unfamiliar.
The Unknown! The basic primal fear containing all the others…anything could happen and the unknown is limitless in potential and threat. Ghosts 500 x k - jpg
The Unexpected! From the unknown comes the known, the way we EXPECT reality to function; something shatters our expectations and we feel shock and distress. We view unnatural occurrences as wrong; the sane don’t like an insane world! www. dvdactive.com
The Unbelievable! Nobody will listen! People disregard what doesn’t fit their definition of reality and those who accept what others don’t believe are often labeled insane and are even thwarted in their fight against the unbelievable. Also, the force(s) in the story may be almost unbelievable for us!
The Unseen! Abnormal and/or shocking elements (blood and guts!) grab our attention because we normally don’t see them in the normal world. They usually only become visible when something is shockingly wrong, which is why less is more though, as repeated exposure leaves us numb and bored versus shocked and scared. Other examples of the hidden could be manuscripts, artifacts, and unknown creatures.
The Unconscious! Inner worlds mystify us because we can’t control or escape their effects. We can all fall prey to subconscious urgings that are both compelling and not always nice and safe at the same time! Man feels compelled to explore these strange regions of the subconscious mind which always remain a part of us….
The Unstoppable! People believe in entropy: that, in nature, all humans, animals, and most forces wind down and wear out eventually. When something suddenly continues to advance and seems relentless, we associate it with death/or evil, which don’t always play by the rules of nature! People always have tried to avoid/or cheat death. Yet death comes for everyone, so we know we can’t escape it, just avoid it for as long as possible!
Elements of Presence! This set of motifs intrudes on our comfort. These motifs crowd out our confidence and feelings of self-reliance and dignity. They smother us with their force and bother us by just existing.
Helplessness! Nothing feels worse than the inability to affect your fate. In horror, much of the attraction comes from a complete LACK of power! All of us have, or will have, felt helpless at one time or another, so we feel even more drawn to the helpless character in a tale of terror….
Urgency! The central conflict of horror? When you can’t do something, you must! Helplessness contrasts with desperate need and the price of failure is ALWAYS catastrophic and astronomical. Loved ones will die or life as we know it will end…..
Pressure! Suspense! A successful horror writer must master this technique! A slow build of tension brings an increasingly urgent need to do something, as the pressure will build, peak, and (we can only hope) dissipate. If the pressure is not handled well, the resolution may not be a happy one!
Intensity! With danger comes a heightened awareness, enhancing all emotions—both good and bad, and drawing attention to EVERY detail! Senses pick up; the world becomes more immediate and the threat of death causes people to celebrate life. Ever notice how people are falling in love or developing newfound hate even as the world’s fate is slipping away?.....
Rhythm! All the preceding elements combine to create a rise and fall of tension. Rhythm is essential to horror as it allows the intensity to build to a higher peak than normal. It sets up a pattern of action which draws the reader in and brings him or her along for the ride whether it is wanted or not!...
Finally?.....Release! The promise of resolution offers a refuge from the stress of everyday life. With horror, we hope to see the world, as we knew it before the horror began, to return to some salvation or sense of “normal.” We have no idea what will happen until the end if it is good horror.