"Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

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DaHeckIzDat
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"Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby DaHeckIzDat » September 14th, 2020, 10:25 am

To me, there are two kinds of horror stories: the fun kind, and the serious kind. Basically, the kind that you read or watch because it's more fun than scary, and the kind that actually makes you feel some measure of actual fear while watching it. What story falls into which category is completely subjective, because what somebody finds fun the other might not.

For example, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Halloween" to me are "fun" horror because the kill scenes are why you're watching it in the first place. That's where the director's creativity gets to shine, and the deaths are so over the top that they you can't take them seriously. That doesn't mean they have to be outright silly like the Evil Dead movies, but there's also not an atmosphere of...well, fear, to them. So you might want the characters to get away safely, you also wouldn't want them to avoid the danger entirely.

On the other hand, something like Jeff Goldblum's "The Fly" or anything written by HP Lovecraft is "dread" horror. Goldblum's transformation into a disgusting mutant is so gruesomely portrayed that, while you can still say it's over the top, it strikes a nerve deep inside of you. Likewise, the tones of helplessness and worthlessness in the face of an uncaring and incomprehensible universe in Lovecraft's works resonate with a lot of readers, making their own feelings echo those of the characters in those stories.

What about you guys? Do you agree with the division between fun and dread horror? Where does the line get drawn for you, and what are some examples?
Last edited by DaHeckIzDat on September 14th, 2020, 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zack Burner
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Re: "Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby Zack Burner » September 14th, 2020, 10:54 am

I agree with you, the fun horror like the Alien movies, Halloween, gets your heart pounding for the excitement you crave. As for Dread horror, you know something bad (even sad sometimes) like in both versions of the Fly you slowly begin to realize something bad is going to happen to the protagonist. It really strikes at the soul especially for someone with an irreversible condyou ition, in fact the 1986 version of the Fly was released around the same time when AIDS was around so anyone with the disease can relate to Jeff Goldblum's character. And who's the say you can't have both such as in "Happy Birthday to Me" which has kills and sense of dread as we don't know who the real killer is with all the twists and turns.

DaHeckIzDat
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Re: "Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby DaHeckIzDat » September 14th, 2020, 11:07 am

I prefer fun horror. To me, it's like going into a spook house. It might scare you, but you're laughing and having fun the whole time. I do like some dread horror from time to time, though, like In the Mouth of Madness. I draw the line at body horror, though. The Fly, The Blob, and all the Saw movies are no-goes for me. Which is funny, because I know a lot of people who classify Saw as fun horror because of how over the top it is, at least in the later movies.

On the other hand, some movies like Dead Silence kind of straddle the line for me. The ghosts and spooks are clearly "fun" horror, but ghost movies always give me the "dread" horror kind of heebie jeebies. Maybe that's why it's one of my favorites, haha.

matmico399
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Re: "Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby matmico399 » September 16th, 2020, 5:23 pm

You know I never really thought of this but you bring up a very good point. Good conversation piece. I agree with you the Freddy movies and Michael Myers movies are just fun. Something like the Exorcist is completely draining and absolutely dread horror. One is light and fun, the other is something that could actually happen and is very scary. Kudos my friend, I never thought to separate the two.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: "Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 16th, 2020, 6:42 pm

It's a fair distinction. I can enjoy Halloween and Return of the Living Dead over and over, but I will never again watch The Fly (because it's gross) and never watch another Saw movie (don't like the torture stuff!).

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noah98
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Re: "Fun" Horror vs "Dread" Horror

Postby noah98 » September 17th, 2020, 5:59 pm

I think Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street are fun horror movies to watch. I don't like unsettling horror movies though. For example, my son made me watch Hereditary, and I never want to see it again...or anything like it!


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