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Tired of Terror: A Look Past Scared

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Spice up your spooks with a different dash of terror!

Though sometimes it may feel like it, horror is not a monolith. It is an extremely versatile genre, encompassing an infinite variety of mediums. However, that is not to say it cannot get mundane. The vast majority of horror media (or perhaps popular horror media), exists in the film and TV industries, which isn’t, of course, an inherently bad thing. Though, with these industries being heavily motivated by profits, a chasm of tropes, stereotypes, and uninspiring media can thrive, as long as it makes box office. 

Which, of course, can lead to frustration. Watch enough popular horror movies, and you’ll start to be able to figure out plots, scares, and twists well before the movie (or show) is halfway over. That’s not to say some of these movies aren’t good, but sometimes you need a break from the typical terror; a refresher. Here are some ideas to try if you are uninspired, and un-scared. 

Redefine terror. 

So, you’re sick of slashers, killers, demons, and ghosts. You yawn at machetes, witches, and chainsaws. Who can blame you? There’s a lot of them out there. You could miss the feeling of being scared, like you were when you watched your first scary movie, or cracked your first horror novel. But, there’s more to horror than just guts and gore. Delving into “unorthodox” terror, or horror adjacent mediums, might spark that familiar fear you desperately crave. Contemporary films like Climax (2018) and Raw (2016) push past the expected aspects of terror and offer a more unsettling, perhaps cerebral experience. Perhaps it’s not as “scary” but definitely shocking, and putting you in a place to worry about having nightmares. 

Go overseas for your terror.

In your consumption habits, of course. Delving into foreign horror is a great way to experience new stories, new creators, new terrors, and new scares. Every culture has their own canon of horror classics and traditions around the genre. Try checking out some foreign classics like Eyes Without A Face (1960), or any of Junji Ito’s work for a new, refreshing look at the conventions of the genre. 

Change the terror medium. 

This one’s simple. If you’ve only been watching movies and shows, try a book, a graphic novel, or a manga. Everyone knows Stephen King, or Lovecraft, and you can usually get their books for pretty cheap. If you’re over horror on the page, try turning to a video game for a terrific terror delight. Try a classic like Silent Hill (2012), or Dead Space (2008), or something newer like Dead By Daylight (2016),, or Resident Evil: Village (2021). There’s a wealth of horror media out there, waiting to be discovered behind new genres. Even unexpected ones, like plays, board games, and podcasts; there’s always something spooky to find. 

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Get real. 

Now more than ever, real life “horror” experiences are accessible, and sometimes even cheap. Haunted houses are always a safe bet, especially around October, and you can find one in most any city. And, even if they’re not the most scary, they’re always fun with some friends. Ghost tours, too, as most metropolitan areas have them; they can be very fun, adding a touch of terror, but you’ll usually always learn something new about the city you’re in, especially the darker stuff. Escape rooms are really in right now, and while a lot of them aren’t horror-themed, if you’re lucky enough, you can find one around you that is. The macabre surroundings and set up of horror escape rooms add extra pressure to the game, and will 100% get your spine tingling. 

Take a break. 

This terror recommendation is the simplest. Anything can get mundane over time. Especially horror. It can also press on your psyche to only consume a genre based around discomfort and violence. It’s usually good to take a breather and get into something less abrasive. Hopefully, you’ll be more excited when you come back, and maybe even a little scared. 

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