Over at the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty has a piece on women writing horror, looking at a vairety of novelists including Elizabeth Hand. Short and to the point, he does muse on the nature of horror to terrify the reader and this is what paranormal romance, such as Stephanie Meyer and Laurell Hamilton, doesn’t do.
I wonder if that isn’t too simple a view of the genre. Certainly one of its schools of thought goes for the terror but I wonder if discomfort is a better consideration for the effect. Have theorists managed to reduce horror to well, horror? If thinking about its Gothic roots, it was more about appealing to the darker nature of the Enlightened mind and allowing it some sort of free reign – the pressure valve theory.