Episode 05 – Jump, Gore, Psych

Abby and Kris discuss what a story needs to be properly termed “horror,” and where horror exists in many settings, including race, gender, and unquestioned social systems.

Your homework! Watch the trailer for Jordan Peele’s Get Out and consider where horror, comedy, and criticism of status quo intersect.

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  • Spencer Schwartz

    I love these discussions of what makes something “horror”. I always go back to when I watched Kevin Smith’s movie “Red State”. Think of if the westboro baptist people were also a gun-toting end-of-days cult. So, sounds scary but when I watched it it didn’t feel like horror. It felt like a psychological thriller. And I’m fascinated about why I’m making that distinction. What was it “missing”? I still haven’t figured it out, but it’s fun to think about!

  • LeadMagnet

    One of the elements I really appreciate in these discussions is the number of suggestions and recommendations for stories, films and other horror media that I may otherwise have never heard of – ‘Get Out’ being a perfect example. Much like 28 Plays Later uncovers loads of indie game gems for me, I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of going down some of the creepy rabbit holes referenced here, so thanks both!

    So in that vein, here’s a fan request / seed for a listener project (because why not follow the whims of some rando off the Internet!) – a curated Scared Yet menu of horror (in any combination of media) intended for viewing on Hallowe’en that could serve as a fun way to share a few possibly little-known favourites, and give us a fun shared experience we could all join in on together.

    Love your work, thanks gang.

  • WRT the discussion on babies and the having thereof, in some research for a story I learned about twilight sleep, a popular form of anaesthetic for childbirth for several decades, which turns out to involve some super horrific details:

    https://tinycatpants.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/twilight-sleep-childbirth-and-feminism/

    Thought y’all would find it relevant to your interests.

  • Just a brief note to say that I enjoyed the discussion quite a bit in this episode, and I’m really looking forward to hearing Abby’s analysis on “The Perfect Girl” tropes in horror. I hadn’t thought much about Stepford Wives-type horror situations, but now that Abby has mentioned it, I’m slapping my forehead at not having ever really given that much thought about it from a feminine perspective.

    On that note, I seem to remember reading Ken Hite (possibly in his excellent RPG analysis of horror, “Nightmares of Mine” – his RPG rulebook GURPS Horror is also worth reading for analyses of specific monsters) arguing that horror is the most conservative of genre fiction, especially in slasher films, most notably in regards to how it treats gender and sexual activity (lose your virginity = violent death); and of course Joss Whedon deconstructed it in “The Cabin in the Woods.”

  • Shmarl

    I often echo Kris’s disappointment in /r/creepy and have found other, more area-specific creepy subreddits that occasionally offer up something that cranks my creep (creeps my crank?).

    Oceans:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/thalassophobia/ (has hall of fame to the right)
    https://www.reddit.com/r/TheDepthsBelow/

    Woods:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/nyctohylophobia

    There are also plenty of silly or not-so-creepy things within, but these natural settings seem to catch me more than pictures of real-world mummies. Anyone else have another repository?

  • falsebooles123

    When abby was discussing different level of horror, I thought of how AHS uses the sort of gore and disfigurement in there stories. That while theres plenty of sophisticated horror, they are always able to play off of the human instint to recoil from disfigurement while still treating the disfigured like actually human beings rather then maleviolent monsters. A point brought in in the previously episode.

  • Sean

    One movie that honestly scared me the first time i saw it, despite it not being a horror movie was Idiocracy because it made it’s case SO WELL.

  • Joshua M Cutlan

    Love Nightbreed. The film had a draw to the goth scene in Calgary for awhile due to it being set in here. I remember hearing about kids going out to look for Midian when I was in high school.

  • Luth Nightbreeze

    Just wondering, does anybody know the song used for the introduction and ending? I quite like it and would love to find the full version.

    Also, Abby, Kris, awesome podcast. Love both your comics and its great to see you two get together and make this thing!

    • VivTheSpoopyGost

      I too love this song and its continued eerie use in Kris’s creepy things.

      If I recall correctly, the song was written by Kris for the Broodhollow Book 1 EP, a stretch goal for kickstarter backers. And again, if my flighty memory serves me, the track is called “Skull and Shovels”. I couldn’t find a download link freely available so am guessing it remains ever elusive and backer exclusive.

      So yes, a full version exists and I can’t post it, but the good news is you are hearing most of it already.

  • Sam

    Love the podcast! it really steams my clams that there isn’t more. As a writer, it seems like the moment someone comes up with something new and scary, it’s rote and boring almost the moment it hits the shelves and screens. Are there any classic horror elements that people keep going back to besides jump scares?

  • Elizabeth

    I love that both Kris and Abby brought up feminism in horror in this episode! There are so many things I would like to say on this topic. The disappointment I feel every time I read a story with a weak female lead or worse, an idiot girl who is in dire need of the hero to save her drives me up a wall. Women are capable of complex strategy and strength of character and I can’t help but feel that voice isn’t heard very much in the horror genre.