From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies." --Aristotle from the Poetics.
Horror may mean:
- Horror (emotion), the physical and mental sensation
- Horror art, art focusing on horror themes
- Horror fiction, the general genre
- Horror film, the genre in film
Horror as a genre started with gothic fiction. Its tropes include terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets and hereditary curses.
The stock characters of gothic fiction include tyrants, villains, bandits, maniacs, Byronic heroes, persecuted maidens, femmes fatales, madwomen, magicians, vampires, werewolves, monsters, demons, revenants, ghosts, perambulating skeletons, the Wandering Jew and the Devil himself.
Modern subgenres and tropes include bio horror - body horror - carnivorous plants - Count Dracula - erotic horror - exploitation - fantastic - Frankenstein - freaks of nature - gore - ghost - gothic fiction - grindhouse - horticultural horror - magic - Mondo film - monster - phantom of the opera - psychological horror - slasher films - snuff films - vampire - video nasty - werewolf - zombie
Related vocabulary includes terms such as bizarre - blood - controversial - cruelty - dark - death - demon - devil - disgusting - disturbing - evil - fantasy - fear - gothic - grotesque - hidden - inquisition - macabre - midnight - night - occult - offensive - pain - phobia - prison - repugnance - secret - shocking - sadism - sick - strange - sublime - supernatural - surreal - terror - torture - ugly - uncanny - violence - visceral - war
Towards a theory of horror
- An intense painful emotion of fear or repugnance.
- An intense dislike or aversion; an abhorrence.
- A literary genre, generally of a gothic character.
- (The horrors, informal) An intense anxiety or a nervous depression.