By Rebecca Besser
Psychological horror is one that has such a broad spectrum that it could be anything from someone who has lost a loved one and simply snapped to someone who has had mental issues all their life that just can’t be controlled.
Slasher horror to serial killers, nervous breakdowns to the mentally ill – what do they all have in common? All stories that fall into the psychological horror genre have something to do with human beings that have gone off the deep end in one way or another, even if they seem sane to themselves.
For this kind of terror, emotions are played up until there are such high stakes that something has to happen in the form of horror relief.
Collateral damage is a guarantee in all psychological horror. Family members of the targeted aren’t safe. Friends of the targeted aren’t safe. No one close to the targeted is safe.
There can be a lot of blood involved with psychological horror, but there doesn’t have to be. Sometimes it’s the buildup of a mystery, such as a kidnapping villain who kills there victims and only the bodies are found later. Or a stalker who just doesn’t understand limits and personal space that ends up killing someone they think they care about accidentally.
Why is this stuff scary? Because we realize it’s most likely the stuff that can actually happen to everyday people. It could happen to us, even if we try to prevent it.
Psychological horror involves that strange guy down the street in a neighborhood where kids are disappearing. It’s where the crazy guy at work snaps and blames his co-workers for all his troubles. It’s anyone. It’s random. It happens every day in the real world.
What’s going to stop it from happening to you or me? There’s no way of knowing. Chances are, at some point in life, something scary and tragic will happen in our lives or of those we know. It’s inevitable.
Psychological horror is real terror. Psychological horror is what plagues your thoughts every time your child is out of your sight, when your family leaves your house in the morning and you wonder if you’ll see them again, and it’s the fear you feel when you’re out after dark and you hear a strange noise behind you. It’s inside you. You are scared something is going to happen, or someone will step into your life and cause your death or the death of someone you care about.
Be safe, my friends, and enjoy horror entertainment while hoping none of it ever happens to you!
©Rebecca Besser, 2015. All rights reserved.