Is Horror Dead?

I've noticed a big shift away from traditional horror recently, in books, shorts and in subs to E2M.

What's happened to the werewolves, devils, demons, ghosts, vamps and other nasties?

Some claim that the above has been done to death. Do you think so? Can anything really be "done to death"?

I don't think so. Sure there are thousands of traditional horror in the written field these days as there were 20, 50, 100 years ago. But, the way I see it is that every book is written by 'a person' whose experiences and culture is different to others. People have not lived my life and have not had the exact same experiences as me and sure as hell don't see everything the same way I do.

There's always something that can be added, changed, twisted.

Vampires: Man gets bit, becomes vampire, bites others. Hmmm. That's an idea of an outline. It isn't a story. The story is what happens before and after the mentioned incident. If it wasn't, Ann Rice would be working in McDonalds.

Zombies: Done to Death? Resident Evil (Biohazard), 28 days later and others.

Werewolves: Night of the Werewolf, Blood of the Wolf, American werewolf in London, American werewolf in Paris.

If the writer can think 'outside of the box', a new reason for the story involving one or the other can be found in the real life around us, and even better, our dark imagination of what if...

Zombie story: A Middle-East country drops a chemical bomb on the US, England or little ole New Zealand. Creates a world of Zombies, especially when retaliation occurs. Now we just need a few subplots and perhaps a way to clean the world. Just don't use a government experiment to create the zombies.

Werewolves: A camper is digging a toilet in the forest. While digging, something scratches him, he checks it out and sees a pointed tooth, digging further he finds the skull, a medallion and a silver bullet lying in the ribcage. Now it's up to the writer to add new elements from his/her imagination of "what if...?"

Ain't nothing dead in my opinion. Spielberg found a cool way to make a dinosaur movie.

Richard Lee is the author of the acclaimed novel, 'Blood of the Wolf'. His latest book, Re-Entry of Evil has just been released. Details of his books and his thoughts on writing can be found at this website along with many other resources, links, book and DVD reviews, articles on the writing life.

He is a column writer for Camp Horror, and has edited 6 anthologies to date and is the editor at Sinisteria Horror Magazine.

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