the horror

The Horror

I recently watched three horror movies on Netflix. Two weeks back-to-back, I hosted out-of-town guests who were, like me, horror fans. Hungry to watch fright flicks together, we combed the Netflix catalog for lesser known films we hadn’t seen.

I was less than impressed with what we found.

One of the films had an interesting premise that was, unfortunately, thoroughly mishandled. One was good until it forced an unnecessary and unlikely plot twist that pretty much unraveled the whole thing. And the last was a hodge-podge of scary imagery with no coherent story at all.

With each film, I felt fear rising. Not the kind the makers of the movies intended. Rather, a fear that good horror is becoming increasingly rare.

As with any marketable concept, there are plenty of people out there interested in making money or making a name for themselves. There are precious few invested in the craft. You could say the same thing about literally any genre, and all of them have immeasurable value.

Horror is one of my favorite modes of fiction. When I see it bastardized for a quick buck by the lazy or the thoughtless, it pains me.

Of course, there’s little you can do to make horror writers/directors take their stories seriously.

But what you can do is take your own stories seriously. No matter what kind of fiction you write, always remember that you’re contributing to something far greater than yourself. Something that extends beyond your own tales.

Make your stories matter. Make them something you’re proud to contribute. Even if you never intend to publish, tell stories worth telling. 

To shoot for less is…well, frightening. And not in a good way.

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About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

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