Horror Versus Terror

Better Essays
Before beginning my argument and analysis, it is first necessary to discuss some of the basic contrasting features of the concepts of horror versus terror, beginning with the concept as outlined by Paul Wells. On this distinction, and first referring to terror, he writes “terror stimulates the desire to actively come to terms with shock; to enjoy its provocation and understand its effect. [...] Horror, however, has only a negative and paralysing effect; a wholly nihilistic and enduring condition of death and oppression” (Wells 11). Our class lecture from March 8th clarified, largely encompassing the definition provided by Wells, that terror is a reactionary, automatic response to an external threat in which the fear is immediate and involves…show more content…
We also went over how horror involves the realization that evil exists in the world, but is largely not something that can be seen in the world, only in one’s own mind, and that while terror and horror coexist, horror can never come before an interrelated experience of terror, but terror can inspire later horror, though not simultaneously as there must be some separation in time (Wynter 8 March; Wells 11-13). We learned that horror requires thought, memory, and imagination and that it must be separated by time from whatever experience or event inspired it, even if that event was terror, in our lecture on March 8th, and in a lecture on April 5th we connected the immediate fear of terror and the more prolonged and building experience of horror to common themes and tropes used in many, if not almost all horror films today, which involves the overall change in, and usually tightening, of space in order to elicit horror, and the growing distance in time that builds the experience of horror (Wynter 8 March, 5 April; Wells
Get Access