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Blood and Death

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I've noticed something with so many stories on this site, they all rely on blood and death for their scares. Because of this idea that blood and death are scary most of the stories which use them are either just boring, or disturbing, and not in a good way.

It's not just here though, Hollywood thinks that is what scares people as well. That is the main issue with horror movies today. Each and every movie relies on gruesome images and different ways to die to deliver the scares, with the exception of cheep jump scares. Just look at the Saw movies or Hostile.

Death, blood and grotesque images are not bad to put in horror stories, but don't rely on them for the scares. Use these things to build up tension, but please don't think that if you put something that is just disgusting into a story it makes it scary, because it doesn't.

Some of the best horror stories have very little blood and guts in them, if any at all. Silence of the Lambs, The Things (which does have a lot of disturbing images also relies more on getting into your head,) and any and all black and white moves didn't need to rely on these tricks. The Thing was scary as hell and would still be scary as hell if not even more terrifying had we not saw anyone killed. Silence of the Lambs tells of the violence without having to show it, with the exception of the end when Hannibal is escaping. House on Haunted Hill (the original,) The Blob (again the original,) The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Darkside, and others were all able to use little to no gore in their stories. When they had to kill someone off they showed the person about to die and after they were dead.

That approach is sometimes so much more effective. A person dies because they have their head cut off is fine, but to explain it in such detail as to all the pain and suffering that happens up to the point of the head being cut off may be a little too much.

Which do you find creepier:

Jodie was running through the woods, her lungs burned more with each breath. Every few minutes she would glance over her shoulder to see that man, that beast. She knew what he meant to do to her, the knife in his hand told her that, so she ran as fast as she could. Then that thought struck her, that horrible thought. Her legs were burning from exhaustion already, and she didn't know how much longer she would be able to keep running. The trees and other surrounding things started to pause in their seemingly endless rush to get behind her. She was slowing down.

or:

Jodie fell to the ground as the man reached her. The knife was quickly pulled from his belt and driven deep into her stomach. Over and over he stuck it into her gut. A pool of blood seeped into the dry soil, coating the mans dress shoes with crimson kisses. She tried one last time to get away but the man slammed his blade deep into the back of her knee pinning her there. He kissed her on the cheek as he snapped her neck.

I personally fell like the first is better. You know she is going to get it, and you can later have her body be found by someone else who just happens to stumble upon it. It builds tension much better than telling someone all the parts at once. Who is the man? What got her into that situation? Did he catch her? Whatever it is, that can build up on the stress the reader will feel. Even ending a story like that is good, because it can leave it open for the reader to decide what happened.

Both have their places, don't get me wrong. But to rely on the gore is just a shame. So many stories rely on nasty bits of flesh flying around than really writing a good story. The plot shouldn't be about who is going to get killed in the worst way. It should be about the people in the story and how they interact with each other.

Sorry for the rant, but just had a ten hour drive listening to creepypasta stories and they all seemed to have the same thing. Blood and Guts by the buckets full. At this point it seems like it is just a crutch for horror stories to use so often.

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