On atmosphere and menace in horror

Published by TheSerpantofNar in the blog TheSerpantofNar's blog. Views: 183

Horror is often seen as genre of bloodshed and gore,seldom about the horror of quietness and the still. Creating true horror often involves tapping into what you fear most be zombies,graveyards,gothic forboding ruin's or simply the blackness of those darkest corners of our psyche. I believe horror also involves turning the beautiful and majestic into nightmarish places we would avoid.

Atmosphere is often forgone instead for gore and(which I'm guilty of lol) but with reading and learning I found atmosphere amplifies terror. That cold and ominous forest or that moody graveyard are great examples of traditional horror atmosphere. But what if the very light turns the beauty into that monster or wind blowing in a fashion that feels unnatural or shadows that feel endless.

What I try to do is go to that moody,awful place in my minds eye it does become living and breathing in your mind. You may even scare yourself should you be so lucky although that can lead to some sleepless nights. I'm not going to say do away with all gore though in small amounts its actually useful to drive the brutality of the violence home. Implication is far,far more terrifying the mind imagines the worst and that is a super effective horror. Also look at pictures and research where the tale takes place it really helps establish mood,tone among other things.

Obviously this is just how I write horror but its free advice that is hopefully good :) Oh another that should be mentioned is listen to moody,creepy music. I personally love The Omen,Conjuring,Bram Stokers Dracula,Sinister soundtracks myself :) Also one or two horror TV shows only two really 'Penny Dreadful' and 'Hannibal' Penny Dreadful because it does mood very well and its horror is natural and Hannibal because not only is it extremely well shot and beautiful to look at it involves horror of the mind and body plus it takes a very dreamlike quality when dealing with insanity and though its gory as hell its very tasteful and never just for shock value.
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