Date: 2016-01-01 10:00 pm (UTC)
zeborah: Four zebras and their reflections in the water they're drinking from (reflective)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
I've been thinking about this and I think for me 'creepy' doesn't ever mean 'horror' although it may (or may not) coexist with it. 'Creepy' is a skin-crawling sensation, more often than not at a pleasantly safe remove, occasioned by unease about human relationships or emotions or the like. 'Horror' is screechy "be scared now!" music, fear about bodily harm, frequently with a bunch of gore thrown in. 'Creepy' is psychological, 'horror' physical.

(This is not me stereotyping the genre called 'horror', it's me coopting the word to make a distinction that's important to my tastes. The actual genre contains both things though I feel like it does tend to the physical.)

Horror in a story for me is like sex: I don't particularly enjoy it but I don't dislike it either. If there's nothing else in the story then it's boring and I put it aside. If it's only a part of the story then it merely makes the story hard to read, like a wordfind puzzle. The horror is noise from which I have to distinguish the signal which is the meat of the story.

And like, when I'm doing a wordfind I do best if I can focus on the word I'm looking for so it jumps out and the rest of the puzzle is just there in the background out of focus -- when I'm reading a story like this for the creepiness, I no longer really see the horror. (I accidentally showed a gruesome Criminal Minds episode to a squeamish friend of mine once because the memory of its creepiness had made me forget how gruesome it also happened to be.)

Another analogy would be those Magic Eye puzzles. But in any case, by the time I've reached the end of a story that I've enjoyed, I'm pretty completely unconscious of whether it contains horror; certainly unable to judge how much it contains. To judge that, I have to actually go back and read (or at least skim) the story a second time with only that question in mind.

(And I could repeat this whole comment substituting... um, I-guess-'kinkiness' and 'sex' for 'creepiness' and 'horror'.)
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