Friday, July 13, 2012

To See No Evil...

The horror genre allows for a diversity of concepts to explore, senses to tantalize, and audience members to scare the snot out of. Depending on your spook threshold and personality, you may gravitate toward certain sub-genres of horror over others. People with an affinity for creepy mind games will love psychological thrillers. Horror purists with a penchant for the classics will probably gravitate to the old school slasher flicks. Film students with a flair for the ultra new and mod might go for the shaky-cam or experimental scare tactics. Whatever your particular favorite, one thing remains constant in horror movies...evil.
Evil can take many forms: bloodsucking vampire, cannibalistic psychiatrist, supernatural fiend, creature from nightmares, serial killer, axe murder, demon, poltergeist. You name it, and somewhere along the line, a horror writer has created it. But, the question remains...which form of evil is scarier, seen or unseen?

The Blair Witch Project became an internet phenomena largely in part to the viral marketing campaign. The hip new shaky-cam sub-genre started gaining ground; Couple that with the psuedo "found footage" and it spelled a recipe for success. However, the true testament to the film was one simple thing...the killer is never seen. At the very end, when the killer might be at last unveiled, we get a scream and fade to black.
The unseen killer vs. the seen killer, who will win the battle for the scariest source of evil? Well, my money is all on the invisible, because I believe the human mind can create far worse imaginings than anything filmmakers can put on screen. But, how about you?
Who wins your vote? What do you find scarier, the killer you see or the one you can't?

PS Happy Friday the 13th!


  1. I think in horror it usually works better when the evil goes unseen. Especially in movies because when it finally gets shown the killer might not look that scary. It worked for "Jaws" right?

  2. Fear is different for each of us, therefore I say the unseen always elicits more chills. Pitch Black, creepy, and mostly because you could only catch a glimpse of what waited in the dark.

  3. the killer I can't see, for sure.

  4. I agree that the unseen is scarier. The only thing to consider with this is that the unseen can leave readers/viewers intensely unsatisfied. Then again, horror is not exactly know for it's closure. It's one of those genres where it's always a surprise to find what works vs. what doesn't. Great post! :D (Btw, this morning I woke up to 666 twitter followers AND it's Friday the 13th! Talk about horror genres!) :D

  5. I think we can relate more to the unseen because not a lot of us have encountered a vampire or zombie in real life. But most people have probably had creepy moments where we felt like something was following or watching us and we didn't know what was out there, even if (as usually) it turns out to be nothing.