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What makes something scary?

Bountybear January 13, 2015 User blog:Bountybear

Scary to me has always been psychological, or otherwise personal, never really the jump scare gorefests some people consider scary. I found Silence of the Lambs to be one of the scariest, and one of my favorite, films ever, because at the time it felt real, it felt like it could happen (more so the underlying themes, or actions, not directly the Man-skins-people-and-wears-the-skin-as-a-skin-suit plot.) and having a foot in reality thne doing something outlandish or unlikely (Such as buffalo bill in general) makes those aspects seems less absurd, and much more real, much more believable. It sets the audience up early on, with a typical crime drama, and some good ol' Hannibal Lector, and it gives the idea it will continue on with this standard normalicy, then the mystery gets to the point where Buffalo Bill uses tactics similar to real life serial killers/rapists (Pretending to be injured to lure a woman into his car, etc.) and exageratting them (taking something real, that the audience probably heard about in the news or read about in the paper, and ramping it up to 11 while still maintaining that same seriousness and atmosphere, makes it seem more believable to me), then some of the more odd or crazy things seem more reasonable. I find it more believable because it all sort of ramps up, going from real, to unreal with the neccesary steps in between...

Wait what was I talking about?

Oh shit, yeah, fear and stuff. I've always been a paranoid guy, and so the whole "Killer in the house" and other Modern Bogeymen (Modern Bogeyman, god I hope I just coined that, because that is clever, it means that the idea of a Bogeyman, you know the figure that is used to scare kids, which in retrospect always seems silly, mixing it with real or "plausible things", remember how people thought that gangsters would cut someones heel when they're getting into their cars for "iniation", despite how silly that is, anyway it basically means something that preys on so-called mature fears, which are really just those kid fears repackaged in an adult body and not the actual fears of taxes and the like, and exemplify immaturity while also really scaring me) scare me, because they seem mildly realistic, but especially the ones that are like "Humans can lick too" because being paranoid, I used to always think I wasn't in the house alone, and those thoughts still linger with me. But AAAAAAANYWAAAAAAAAAY, the reason thye scare me is that they prey on my most personal fears... My personal well being. And my sense of security, and comfort. These things scare me, because in the stories and snopes pages, there are no ways to STOP them from occuring, you can't defend yourself from the man you don't know is in your house... Standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!... Wacking off... 

I guess it is linked to a fear of the unknown. I fear what cannot be understood, or what might be laying in wait, in the dark... wacking off... You don't prepare for the things you don't know, because you don't know what they are, nor when they will occur. So I can live in a state of fear-limbo, or just live, I choose the first option. But the central message of this is fear, fear is subjective. What gets under my skin, things that make me scared or paranoid of unknown creatures hiding in my closet, in the dark of a bathroom at night, if a story about a woman living alone (usually a woman because of course), and she lives alone, and for years at night she hears scratching from her attic, which is always blocked off, no matter how hard she pushes can get the door to budge, and so she lives with it. After a while, she starts to find boxes of food in her pantry have the corners chewed open, and the food missing, and the same with magazines. She might lose something, only for it to turn up with several pages missing, then she sets her photo album of her family or some shit down, and the next day, three pictures (of her, and only her) go missing. The things escalate further, and the scratching gets louder. Luckily its the holidays, and her brother ( the "hero", or whatever is close to a hero, is usually male) is coming over.  She tells him about it all, and he takes a pan or some item, and decides to investigate, and both her and her brother push the door open and they find inside....

A lot of rats. 

You see how I built that up with typical urban legend tropes, then put realism in, like actual honest-to-God realism, and it totally  undermined the entire story?

Lets change the ending from that instead to she gets upset from an odour that gets stronger, along with the scratching, then she opened the door with her brother and instead of mice, there was a very worn rugged spot of carpet, and feces, and also places where the rug was torn up, and the insulation was torn into. Food bits are scattered about, etc. makin it clear...


That would probably scare me, if it was handled a bit more seriously, because it plays on my paranoia and my lack of security in my own house( which is supposed to be a safe place, ironic that a shit-ton of accidents occur in it... OH NO! I'M IN A HOUSE!!! :OOO NOOOOOO!! post this liek 7 moar tymes and get godo lukc!!!!! OR DEIII!!!) It frightens me for personal reasons, much like how my mom can't go to a Circus, or watch a movie or anything with clowns, or heights for that matter, because its her personal phobia and fear. 

Fear is subjective, and there is no "formula" for fear, or comedy for that matter. But if you did read all of this, and if its not deleted or whatever, please let me know your personal thoughts and ideas about fear, and what scares you.

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