And this is it! We’ve come to the last post about horror subgenres. Did I get them all? Probably not. But that’s alright. We covered a lot. And hey, if I missed a subgenre you love or one that you wanted to know more about, please let me know in the comments. No reason I can’t do a part seven if I find enough new subgenres.
At the introduction of every technological advancement, there is fear. There will always be some that believe every new way to communicate with each other is the thing that will bring about the fall of society. As though it would ever be just one thing.
While we might like to think that Techno horror is a new subgenre, it’s really not. Sure, there are lots of good stories about internet urban legends coming true. Plenty of ghosts in the machines, hunters stalking innocent prey in comment sections and message boards.
But before there was the internet, there was television, radio and telephones. And we don’t have to look far to see that each had its own set of horrors.
I still think a phone with no caller ID is pretty damn scary.
The Ring is a great example, with a vengeful spirit trapped on a videotape. But we can go much farther back, to the classic film Videodrone. We’re always scared of what we don’t understand, and we don’t understand technology. Even as we’ve grown so dependent on it. And so the Techno horror subgenre is alive and well, with later installments including movies like Pulse.
I’ve not been shy about loving city life. Even as I write this I’m sitting in front of a window that looks out over my tiny little city. I can see windows that lead to people’s homes and offices.
And yeah, so many people living and working right on top of each other will lead to some horror stories.
This subgenre is full of dark alleys and dangerous shadows. It’s a drug store at two in the morning, empty but open. It’s someone you see on the other side of the road, who’s gone after a truck goes past. It’s a fifth-story window being opened from the outside. It’s a scream from your neighbor’s apartment, followed by silence.
This is a subgenre that goes back to London. Real horrors like dirty living conditions and clashing politics lead to stories like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. But we keep right on creating out of this gothic subgenre. Half the Purge movies would fall into this category, as well as the classic American Psycho.
I don’t know how much I need to say about this one. I think we all know about vampires. The evil, the tortured, the sexy and brooding. Vampire lore has been with us for centuries, even before Stoker gave us the eternal Dracula. And it’s a subgenre that keeps updating along with the times. Capes are replaced with trench coats. What was once a monster lurking in the night becomes an influencer with millions of followers and a deal with Hot Topic.
As a teenager, I was in love with the entire vampire subgenre. As an adult, I’m rather over it.
This is another subgenre that is wrapped up in a specific timeframe. In this case, the 1930’s and 40’s. It’s a blend of horror and mystery, with a hero pitted against Satanic villains. This was largely a comic book subgenre, featuring graphic gore and sexual portrayals. Many of these comics lasted only one or two issues before there was enough public outcry to shut them down. One that did last a little while was called Strange Detective Stories. I hate that so many of these were shut down. While I don’t know that I’d call many of these old comics art, they might have evolved into some great works if left the hell alone.
What stories have we lost to the deadly boot of censorship?
Finally, we come to werewolf fiction. Another well-known subgenre, but a bit more nuanced. Because while werewolves specifically aren’t universal, legends of people turning into monsters under a full moon pretty much are.
I wonder why that is. Why does almost every culture across the world have stories of people turning into animal-like creatures? The styles might change, the animals they resemble differ. But these tales abide.
I wonder why.
There are some great examples of werewolf fiction out there. Underworld was fun, of course, as was I Was A Teenage Werewolf.
So that’s it. Don’t forget to give this post a like if you enjoyed it. And if I didn’t get to your favorite horror subgenre, let me know in the comments.
The end of the world began with a winter storm.
Sadie’s quiet life is interrupted when a tree crushes the roof of her attic apartment. She’s forced to move to a smaller apartment in the building. Then, her aunt guilts her into clearing an ouija board of a particularly irritating spirit.
But it wasn’t just the roof that was broken by the tree. There was something trapped within the building, waiting. Waiting to wake and bring about the end of the world.
Not with screams, but with silence.
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