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 Post subject: The Black Cat Question #3 - The Fear
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:25 am 
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Is Poe exploiting the fears of his readers?



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:32 pm 
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I hope so, I think all good horror exploits our fears. I do not like blood and gore, (with the exception of OUTIM and Sleepy Hollow)and I cannot watch movies that could be real, like some stalker types. Because they scare me that they may be real. Movies like Alien although scared the ^%$# out of me, I did not have nightmares about aliens.

I own Secret Window but cannot watch it. To real.

so if I was going to make a scary movie or write a book I would try find out what scares you the reader and work towards that.


ImageImage

thanks Liz and DITHOT!

Raven



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:42 pm 
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With apologies for bringing back memories of the Clinton problems, I think it depends on the definition of 'exploiting.' I don't think he's taking "selfish or unfair advantage" of his readers because Poe readers know what they're in for and choose to go there. But he does "use or develop something in order to gain a benefit," the benefit being an absorbing story. And, of course, the purpose of this absorbing story is to make a profit from it. Maybe I'm being too literal... :eyebrow:
Raven, those spiders of yours are scarier to me than anything Poe wrote! :freaked:



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:44 pm 
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Raven wrote:
so if I was going to make a scary movie or write a book I would try find out what scares you the reader and work towards that.

Raven


And that's why I think that fear stories have to look for the fear within the reader, rather than imposing some sort of alien scenario on them. If you can imagine it happening to you, it will be scary for you. And the purpose of this type of story is to scare, we all know that up to a point we like to be frightened. But we all have a line that we won't cross, mine is stories which involve sexual fear or violence, I just cannot watch or read that type of story.

And edit to say that I love those spiders Raven!



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:23 pm 
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Continuing that thought...different parts of scary stories or movies will scare different people. I had to quit reading Stephen King because he got way too graphic for me although I love his earlier stuff. The Shining is probably the scariest book I have ever read! I have a hard time with horror when it involves children or animals. Never could read Cujo!



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:31 pm 
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yes the spiders are scary to some people, I love spiders and so was thrilled with arachnophobia the movie!

I love Stephen Kings stuff also, not all of it though.

and of course you have a choice of what you want to read and watch, thank goodness!

I like to be scared and if I was able to see SH on the big screen I would have to take my husband to cling to. I did not get to see it at the movies, thinking it was to scary. damn! I love watching Jaws, :-O I will always remember the first time I saw it and the second time. just thrilling!

I am really not scared of very much. And even if I am I usually do it anyway. The books and movies I stay away from are more of the types which I feel are just stupid, or to real and I can watch the local news to see that type of stuff.

later

Raven



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:03 pm 
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Raven, I think you are trying to exploit my fear of spiders here. Those really creep me out! :lol:



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:15 pm 
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Betty Sue and Endora, I agree with both of you. I think Poe looks for the fear that people have. And he was probably drawing from some of his own fears. I don't think he's taking unfair advantage of the reader, just playing with their heads a bit. For me, he really unnerved me when he was going on about perversity. :freaked: I think it's a fear that I didn't even realize I had. I think the times in which he wrote were more puritan, as it were, and perversity may have been a big issue. :-? Maybe he was trying to shock his readers.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:28 pm 
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I agree that Poe is absolutely using our own fears to add intensity and adrenalin to his tales. I think all humans have a deep-down fear of madness, of "losing our minds." And Poe is the absolute Master of Madness! We have the quiet, reasoned, almost clinical narration by the teller of the most horrific and shocking deeds. I think that contrast is part of what makes it so very scary - and so real. If the narrator ranted and raved and ranged off into lunacy, it would be much easier to handle. Oh, well, he just cracked up from too much alcohol or had delusions or whatever. And I do think Poe does try to be shocking here, Liz.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:44 pm 
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Bix wrote:
I agree that Poe is absolutely using our own fears to add intensity and adrenalin to his tales. I think all humans have a deep-down fear of madness, of "losing our minds." And Poe is the absolute Master of Madness! We have the quiet, reasoned, almost clinical narration by the teller of the most horrific and shocking deeds. I think that contrast is part of what makes it so very scary - and so real. If the narrator ranted and raved and ranged off into lunacy, it would be much easier to handle. Oh, well, he just cracked up from too much alcohol or had delusions or whatever. And I do think Poe does try to be shocking here, Liz.

I agree with Bix. I think his writing is even scarier because he writes in such a calm, deliberate manner. Almost detached at times. The idea of losing one's mind is very scary to ponder and reading or watching that happen to someone is terrifying because we picture it happening to us. I think the thought of losing control scares me the most. I can't watch gore and violence in movies. I can read quite alot more in books than I could ever watch in a movie. But the blood and gore don't actually scare me. It just turns my stomach. What scares me is anything supernatural or pure evil. That to me is terrifying. I can't read Stephen King at all. And DITHOT, anything having to do with children or animals and evil is totally out of my comfort level. :-O



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:50 pm 
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Have any of you ever read any Poppy Z Brite? Terrifying. But I think one that does psych even better than Poe is H P Lovecraft.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:20 pm 
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I have to admit that I am relieved to find out that I am not the only person here who is afraid of spiders! I have a serious phobia of spiders, and I have been teased about that for pretty much my entire life, so I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who finds them to be...a tad creepy. Obviously, I have never seen Arachnophobia! If I did, it would probably give me nightmares for days... :freaked:

I noticed a few people said they don't like horror stories/movies involving children. I assume not too many people here have seen The Exorcist, then? :yikes:

Bix and luvdepp, I agree with your thoughts on how scary the thought is of a person losing their mind. I definitely think that Poe plays off those fears of the reader and adds elements to his stories that play off of people's other basic fears, but I don't neccessarily think Poe is exploiting the fears of his readers. Any author of horror (like Stephen King, for example) would do the same. If the story doesn't scare the reader, then the author has missed the point of writing a horror story in the first place.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:30 pm 
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Johnny Fanatic wrote:
If the story doesn't scare the reader, then the author has missed the point of writing a horror story in the first place.


Good point, Johnny Fanatic. :lol:

Johnny Fanatic wrote:
I noticed a few people said they don't like horror stories/movies involving children. I assume not too many people here have seen The Exorcist, then? :yikes:


Maybe that's why they don't like horror stories/movies involving children. :lol: Seriously, I don't think that story was quite as horrifying in terms of it being about a child. What horrified me was the idea of the devil possessing you, and how graphically portrayed that was. :yikes: :freaked: :baby:



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:47 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Johnny Fanatic wrote:
If the story doesn't scare the reader, then the author has missed the point of writing a horror story in the first place.


Good point, Johnny Fanatic. :lol:

Johnny Fanatic wrote:
I noticed a few people said they don't like horror stories/movies involving children. I assume not too many people here have seen The Exorcist, then? :yikes:


Maybe that's why they don't like horror stories/movies involving children. :lol: Seriously, I don't think that story was quite as horrifying in terms of it being about a child. What horrified me was the idea of the devil possessing you, and how graphically portrayed that was. :yikes: :freaked: :baby:


Definitely, the devil possession theme is what freaked me out about it too. I recently saw The Exorcist for the first time a couple weeks ago (yes, I know I'm probably one of the only people who hasn't seen this movie already, but as I said, I'm not a fan of horror films!). My reaction to the film: :-O :yikes: I couldn't help think that if this film had been released today, it would have been rated NC-17. The MPAA rating system has changed quite a bit over the years. I bet a movie released now wouldn't be able to get away with half of the stuff in The Exorcist.



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:06 pm 
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Hi Johnny Fantic,

I haven't seen the exorcist yet! of course I have seen parts of it, but that movie, psycho, and what ever happened to baby jane freaked me out when I was younger that I never have watched them.

ahhh spiders.... mmwawaawwaaaaaaaaaa(insert evil grin)



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