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The Horror Genre.

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Wider Reading Coursework: The Horror Genre The horror genre is based on fear, predominantly visual, psychological and atmospherical. A very good horror may even be able to affect you physically, making you too scared to go to sleep, turn the light off or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. 'The Blair Witch Project' uses suspense in the way that you never get to see what is actually following the students in the woods, making you use your imagination, which can be much scarier than anything you can see. It also sets the scene at the start of the film when they ask people on the streets about the woods, and when they all say bad things you now something bad is going to happen. This happens in a similar but different form in 'The Superstitious Mans Story'. At the start of the story it straight away sets William Privett up to be a bit strange, not in the literal sense, but in a way that he has a strange presence. The narrator says, and I quote: "...if he was in the house or anywhere behind your back without you seeing him, there seemed to be something clammy in the air, as if a cellar door was opened close by your elbow". The Sexton (church caretaker) says that: "...he'd not known the bell go so heavy in his hand for years - and he feared it meant death in the parish". ...read more.


He straightaway finds something unusual about the man, the fact that he did not hear him approach or sit onto the barrier. I feel that he didn't hear him coming could have something to do with him dozing off slightly as he was walking. He reacts to his presence calmly, assuming that he's a drunk, and tries to usher him on his way home. Then the stranger says the first thing that spooks the watchman. When he says: "A fine night", the stranger replies by saying, "Yes, but cold; it will be colder before morning". At this point the night watchman turns to his brazier, and he suddenly realises that his coke supply is not as much as the previous nights, and that it is running out. When the watchman tells the stranger that this is the reason for the lack of heat coming from the fire, he begins to attack him further. "...how easily men forget? This coke of yours, I mean; it looks as if they didn't care about you very much, leaving you in the cold like this." This statement strikes the watchman particularly odd as that thought had just crossed his mind, and eerily the stranger picked up on it. The watchman tries to get that thought out of his mind quickly, by dismissing the strangers suggestion by saying that they probably just forgot to leave him any as they were rushing to get home. ...read more.


Then one particular thought stands out from all the confusion, as he reaches into his pocket for his knife to kill himself. The stranger then turns around for the first time and sees the watchman dead on the floor. He then warms his hands on the brazier before crossing the street and starting down an ally and did not return. Just a few moments ago when I narrowed the stranger down to two possible things, I have now decided that the stranger was the night watchman's conscious. I feel this way because I don't think that it could have been a man after his job because of the fact that he went into the ally-way and did not return. If he were a real person this would suggest that he was a homeless man, and therefore would not be after a job. The 'Superstitious Mans Story' is a story that requires you to believe in ghosts for you to really get the effect of it. At the time it was written it was common for people to believe in that kind of thing, as there was no way to prove that ghosts didn't exist. 'Night Fears' how ever is a more recent story and is more of a psychological story, not telling you clearly what happens at the end and leaving you to make up you own mind. In conclusion I think that 'Night Fears' is a more effective horror story as it is more up to date and in touch with my generation, as the idea of a psychological horror is still used even in the films of today. Steven Kelly ...read more.

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