Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday


I quizzed my students about horror yesterday as a lead in to our study of Beowulf. I asked them to list, and rank-order, the top five elements they expect to see in a horror movie or read in a story.

The answers were telling--and somewhat funny: sex, darkness, dark scenery, fornication, death, nudity, scary music, stupidity... One group even mentioned "creepy-ass-mofos".

Okay...

All but one group included blood as the first item on their list. This speaks to the kind of movies they're used to watching, doesn't it? Would their be no Saw XVII without blood? Can there be a true horror story without blood?

I think so. Some of the best horror doesn't even play in the realm of blood. My "not-quite-haunted house" WIP doesn't have (much) blood, and I've been scaring my own pants off for weeks.

We'll see how readers feel later this year.


7 comments:

AnthonyJRapino said...

Interesting answers. Do this same quiz with kids in elementary school and you're more likely to get answers like "bats, witches, pumpkins, and ghosts."

Bradley Convissar said...

If no blood, then you at least need some split-pea soup, right? (Exocrsit reference, I think)

Barry Napier said...

Yes, I am already anxious as hell to read this story.

Also, Creepy Ass Mofos is the name of my new WIP

Aaron Polson said...

Anthony - All of which scare the crap out of me. Except pumpkins. They're tasty.

Bradley - Definitely The Exorcist. Mmmm... Soup.

Barry - Sounds like a winning title, IMHO.

Danielle Ferries said...

I agree. Some of the truly terrifying horror movies have no blood at all.

Susan Wenzel said...

I've used the word "blood" or "bloody" sixteen times in my thriller - so far - as well as assorted other hemoglobin related references...oh yeah, and "visceral matter" (once). Hmmmm...

TL Jeffcoat said...

Blood? That would make movies like Saving Private Ryan a horror right? Alfred Hitchcock did a lot of stuff without a lot of bloodshed. I think some of the best horrors are the ones that are done with very little blood and still scare the pants off you, or your date. But I still enjoy my share of bloodshed. Saw would not have been near as fun to watch if not for the bloodshed and Hostel would not have had a prayer of a chance.