Horror Threshold

Posted: June 24, 2014 in horror
Tags: , , ,

My horror threshold. I never actually gave it much thought. I have been infatuated with the horror genre since my teens, and I have seen (and sought out) some truly depraved media. The most disturbing movie I have ever seen (The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things) is not even what I would consider horror.

Yet an online associate told me about a movie (A Serbian Film) that I had never seen or heard of that got me thinking about what my horror threshold might be–where I would draw the line between horror as disturbing entertainment and legitimate, unappealing depravity.

This associate told me the movie included someone having sex with a newborn baby. Instantly, there was my threshold! For all the obscure, graphic, and mentally traumatizing horror I have sought out, I had absolutely no desire to see this movie. I did not even really want to think about the fact that it existed.

Children. Children are my personal horror threshold.

If there is a freaky possessed child or a stoic kid on a murderous rampage, I’m fine; I’m good with it; please continue… However, if the horror is directed at the child, particularly a baby, I’m out. I might be able to tolerate some light suggestion with no visual, but largely, I want no part of it.

Horror involving children is a biological aversion for me, even more so after I became a mother. I imagine it is for many people.

So that is my line. Horror threshold here!

I am also not exceptionally fond of rape horror. The inclusion in a plot or the suggestion of it does not necessarily bother me, even a brief scene. However, when the scene is gratuitously graphic or lengthy, I feel my threshold approaching.

When I foolishly watched the remake of Last House on the Left while I was in Iraq (worst venue choice on my part), the rape scene seemed neverending. Yet when I watched it later, it is not horrifically long or graphic for the genre. It stabbed at my legitimate fear of getting raped in theater.

Like children, graphic rape horror is biologically upsetting to me. I can tolerate rape horror to a higher degree because it involves adults, not children. In either case, not my first choice for trauma and fear. Give me a deeply psychological serial killer any day.

Everyone is different, so everyone’s horror thresholds are distinct, even for the most versed aficionados in the genre. I have written torture pieces that have upset my dearest friends; I have written pieces my own husband refuses to read.

So what is your horror threshold?

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