Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introduction to the Horror Genre

I was recently selected as the Horror Genre Correspondent for the relaunch of MEN’S CONFIDENCE MAGAZINE at:!

For my introductory Post, I thought I would share some thoughts on what the Horror Genre means to me.


Hi MCM’ers! As the newest Staff Writer and “Horror Genre Correspondent,” I thought I would introduce myself by chatting a bit about what the Horror Genre is and what I’ll periodically be discussing and reviewing in future posts.

By “Horror Genre,” I first and foremost mean that relating to FICTION, primarily in literature and movies, which is intended, or has the capacity, to frighten or cause a sense of dread or alarm.

The Horror Genre is formally a subset of the Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy Genre, which in turn falls under the larger umbrella of “Speculative Fiction.” Speculative Fiction is contrasted against literary fiction by “Including a supernatural element.” Literary fiction involves fictional characters and/ or events in an everyday world where we could theoretically share the same experiences as those characters.

Although I spent my formative years studying the moors of society and class boundaries in Victorian Literature, my first and greatest love has always been of Horror. Horror can be Supernatural (such as the “A Nightmare on Elm St.” franchise), Psychological (“Jacob’s Ladder”), Torture Horror (“Saw” series), Gothic Horror (Dracula), Real Life Horror (Jack Ketchum’s “The Girl Next Door”), Children’s Horror (R.L. Stine’s books), or any number of sub-sub sets. Again, anything that induces an element of fear may be considered horror.

And this, I love. I love the spine-tingling sensation of something slowly creeping up, the jolt of terror when the fanged antagonist shows his worst, the burst of adrenaline that flows as I watch, or read, wide-eyed as to how the incredibly hot, yet kick-ass, female lead is going to best the alien monster who has single-handedly devoured all her stronger comrades. Why do I love this? Perhaps it’s the sense of relief when good bests evil. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of facing something fearful and being able to conquer it. Perhaps it’s just the pleasure of immersing myself into a world of imagination where anything may occur, whether tragic, humorous, or contemplative.

From Stephen King to M. Night Shyamalan to Anne Rice to Clive Barker, dark and fanciful imaginations create some of the greatest horror stories in the world. Periodically I’m going to check in on Men’s Confidence and explore the latest of these book or movie projects, or I may dust off an antiquated gem, post an interview, or just share my rambling thoughts.

I’m a writer and editor in the world of horror fiction as well, so when I say I love it, you can bet your last headless teen prom zombie that’s the truth. As I contribute here, I hope to share that love, that sense of wonder and excitement, and, of course, that terror.

Midnight Cheers,

Eric J. Guignard