I’m firmly convinced that the best horror happens now in computer games (try not being frightened by this game that never made it market), and a recent anthology of horror that I just read confirmed this thought (in my own head at least). A quick look at Best New Horror Volume 25
- With the exception of Neil Gaiman’s story (“Click-clack the rattle bag”), these felt not real scary. Gaiman’s story worked because it obeyed a genre convention – I did not see the ending coming.
- I am very bored with the vampires and werewolves and human in a barely functioning coexistence story. These feel like X-Men warmed over (“Wot? There are mutants among us? Qu’elle horreur!”), and the premise wasn’t that interesting when urban fantasies first sprung up in the aughts.
- Whatever happened to Freud and the uncanny?
- The last story was the worst (Steven Volk’s “Whitstable,” as it featured Peter Cushing in retirement exposing a pedophile at the urge of an abused child who mistook Cushing for a real vampire hunter. Joe Bob Briggs would definitely not have given it a thumbs up.
Okay, so enough whining. My next obsession will be to look at just why games are so good at being scary. It might or might not involve paeans to much older horror texts.
You are warned.