Many times while browsing horror related sites on the internet I've come across horror fans engaged in arguments, which inspired this article. What kind of horror do you prefer? Do you like the slow burn, psychological horror filled with suspense, maybe an interesting twist to bring your jaw to the floor and virtually nothing in the way of onscreen violence? Or perhaps you're a gore hound who eats up anything featuring copious amounts of bloodshed. Do you like jump scares or do you hate them with a passion? All interesting questions. I certainly don't think it's anything to argue about. People are different and what works for one may not work for another.
As far as these questions go, we have to remember that there are many different types of horror that cover the spectrum of fears and possible horror content. On one end you have films like Halloween, Black Christmas, Psycho and The Exorcist: films that lacked graphic violence and instead focused heavily on suspense and terror to great effect. At the other end of the spectrum falls films like Saw (the later films anyway), Hostel and the recent Evil Dead: movies that revel in glorious gore and terrific practical effects. People go on and on about which is more effective, leading to arguments with no victor because both sides believe themselves to be right and aren't about to give in. I love all sorts of horror, so whether it's just fun bloodletting or creepy suspense filled horror, I'll take it for what it is and enjoy it. But what's interesting to me is that most people never acknowledge that some of the best horror movies fall in the middle of the spectrum. Movies like The Thing, A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), Scream, High Tension, Inside and (REC) all featured their fair share (some more than others) of blood and/or gore without sacrificing tension, suspense or atmosphere. Those are often my favorite horror films, the ones that can include most or all of the various elements of horror cinema.
Okay, friends, tell me how you like your horror. Is it only good if it's gory as hell? Do you hate blood and guts and only want psychological scares? Or are you like me and enjoy both sides as well as films that successfully incorporate both elements? And I'd also like to know your preferred horror sub-genre: slashers, ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, killer dolls, zombies, mutants, cannibals, aliens or anything else that can serve as a source of terror and destruction. Which is your favorite?