Over the years I have seen a ton of horror movies. Some were not scary at all to me (sorry Blair Witch Project). Others were very disturbing (looking at you Dracula). Some people would feel the opposite way about those movies. The question is, why?
The first time I saw Dracula (1992 Keanu Reeves version) I was around age 8 or 9. The movie ignited a deep fear of vampires in me, which probably isn’t surprising considering how young I was when I saw it.
Since seeing the movie, I’ve had recurring nightmares in which I am kidnapped and taken into a warehouse. Inside the warehouse, all of my friends and families are being farmed for their blood by a coven of vampires. Some are hanging on meathooks, skinned alive. Others are in bathtubs of ice, long clear tubes draining them of blood under the supervision of hungry vamps. In every nightmare I am lead through the warehouse to a bathtub of my own, which I am forced to climb into. Maybe I’ll write a story about it some day.
So what about vampires is so horrifying to me? I can’t really place it to be honest. Maybe it is the fact that they are so capable of overpowering me. Loss of control is a fear of mine, but nearly every supernatural creature is powerful. Werewolves do nothing for me.
The blood loss? Maybe… I can’t stand the sight of my own blood, so this explanation is more likely.
Everyone’s fear is different, but I think powerful imagery and plausibility is the key to making it real. If someone can easily picture it in their mind’s eye, and consider that it could maybe happen to them… What do you think?
I’m hoping to learn more about this as I work through my book for NaNoWriMo. It is a horror book, after all. I imagine I will learn a lot about many different aspects of writing, and hopefully I will think to record much of it here on the blog.