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The subtleties of terror across genres

We are all aware that video game and movie adaptations take liberties with source material (the literature that they are drawn from) but how does a scary piece remain scary? When a reader engages with the text, terror and horror come from anticipation and foreshadowing. Video game users are directly engaged in making decisions and movie watchers are observers of somebody else’s vision of the "creature". In what ways does terror/horror translate across media? what makes something scary when it is taken outside our realm of imagination? Does horror/terror run the risk of being campy or cliché because it is no longer on the page?

  • Perhaps you can add the psychological component of fear to help address terror in these genres. – Venus Echos 7 years ago
  • You've made a good point that video games are frightening because the player is consciously making a decision. In regards to film, the score (background music) usually helps build suspense. Lack of background music also makes things scary, because it usually leads to things popping up. – YsabelGo 7 years ago
  • In gothic literature there is a reliance on the "sublime" the feeling of terror that is ultimately pleasant. This is achieved through the use of the setting in literature so spooky castles, dark weather and subtle changes to the environment are all a must. Now when this translates to lets say video games, these factors are exemplified! Music is added, the once purely imagined setting is now present, and there is the game mechanics to consider. Stress levels rise and your senses go into overdrive causing those factors which allow the sublime to thrive to grow even more palpable. – jonavitua 7 years ago

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