The Element of Horror (in sleep he sang to me…)

Forums Fiction Themes The Element of Horror (in sleep he sang to me…)

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #99712
    EricaWordsmith
    @ericawordsmith

      In dreams he came…

      That voice which calls to me, and speaks my name…

      THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IS THERE…

      INSIDE MY MIND!!!

      *Phantom of the Opera begins to grind the organ notes in powerful blasts into the ears of all who dare to hear*

      (Overture is actually pounding the organ chord progression as I write this)

      Disclaimer: Before I delve into this, let it be said for clarity that I have never sat down and watched through Phantom of the Opera in its entirety. I do however LOVE the music and the story!!!

      So… This past summer I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and recently here at college I read The Phantom of the Opera (when do I find time for that? Picture a girl not socializing over her meal as she losses herself in her Kindle reading classics). I’ve never read anything out of the horror genre (and let it be said, I am NOT recommending modern horror to anyone. This topic will concern old horror classics only) until this year. However these books have definitely been fascinating and excellent reads (eventually I will get to Frankenstein, but I have multiple parties which have been prodding me to read Dickens for quite some time, so that must wait for a while lest I be set upon toothy cows in the full extent of their toothiness).

      So I am curious, if you’ve ever read any horror classics, how have they affected your writing/or what have you analyzed about the horror in these stories?

      Prepare for the rant… For me, even though I haven’t watched Andrew Loyd Weber’s musical of PotO, I know enough of the story/music to know that I’m already on the Phantom’s side of the romance… I’m sorry… I just want to smack Christine when she leaves him. That is my humble opinion.

      But then I read the book… (which is very different from the musical)

      And I wanted for somebody to go ahead and be rid of the Phantom. *Holds back her original words*

      In the words of a friend of mine, “The Phantom in the movie sounds really pretty after reading the book.” And it’s true… (go look up the Phantom from the movie [Gerrard Butler] and then find a picture of Erik [more of the fan art that’s out there. He probably won’t be wearing a mask in these pics])

      The book is a horror story. But the horror in it is fascinating to me because you feel it on so many levels and from multiple perspectives.

      Here’s where I felt the most horror.

      The horror of ugliness. Yes, we as humans love beauty, and there’s something about the ugliness of the Phantom that is truly repulsive. Everything about him is just…
      Horror for Christine who is being hunted down by this creeper and killer. You feel horror that Raoul is so fickle and won’t believe her.
      Horror over the morbid life that the Phantom lives.
      Horror for Christine’s choice (in the climax especially)
      Lastly, one of the most horrible of all, is when you finally understand the Phantom. At least for me, this was one of the most horrible things.

      Or in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there is horror over the warped events of the story.

      So… The things I’ve gathered is that we can use horror in a tactful way to enhance our stories, because horror does not equate graphic violence. I personally find there’s more horror when the stories deal with things that repulse the human nature.

      I think one of the biggest things that we as humans hate is ugliness. Specifically in a person. My theory is that we as humans despise ugliness, but when we see ugliness in human form it is especially repulsive.

      Secondly, there are certain things that just give us the shivers, such as having your own nature overcome by (once again) ugliness, not just of body but of soul.

      You know… maybe that’s where the element of horror lies: Not in the gore and blood, but in ugliness manifesting itself in human nature/imposing itself upon others.

      I’m also reading Les Miserables, and Fantine’s descent into misery… I had to take some time to process the horror I felt in that story. The more I think about it, the more I think that tactful horror that targets deep places of the human soul that prefers to be left alone and causes us to think about these things can be very good in any sort of story.

      Let me know what you all think. I want to explore this topic a bit.

      Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

      #99718
      R.M. Archer
      @r-m-archer

      I don’t have much to add to this conversation, unfortunately (but I look forward to reading it, because this sounds like a fascinating topic!), but I heard Phantom of the Opera and got excited because I recently read the book, after growing up on the movie (is it a weird movie to “grow up on”? Maybe. But I also grew up on the Peter Jackson LOTR movies, so…), and I automatically compared and contrasted them. This:

      In the words of a friend of mine, “The Phantom in the movie sounds really pretty after reading the book.” And it’s true… (go look up the Phantom from the movie [Gerrard Butler] and then find a picture of Erik [more of the fan art that’s out there. He probably won’t be wearing a mask in these pics])

      is soooooo accurate. And in my opinion, it makes the book a much stronger story. Everything about the Phantom is uglier in the book, from his face to his backstory to his mental health (or lack thereof), and it makes the story meaningful because it does introduce that horror aspect. It makes the story more important and more emotional. (Granted, it’s been a while since I last watched the movie, but from what I recall…) The movie lessened the plot to more of a simple love triangle. Erik was abusive and possessive, which is absolutely a bad thing and shouldn’t be ignored, but he doesn’t have nearly the same level of madness or cruelty as in the book. In the movie we feel pity for Erik because he’s been abused and that’s led to who he is, while in the book we feel much more revulsion than pity because he’s just kind of messed up and he mainly brought this on himself. And I think the details of the book were much more thought-provoking, in general.

      I don’t know if anything in there is especially helpful to the conversation at hand… I may have just rambled for a long paragraph about nothing… But anyway, thanks for bringing up the topic! I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts. 🙂

      Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

      #99776
      Sink
      @sarah-inkdragon

      I’ve read both the ‘condensed’ version of Les Miserables, watched the movie, and I’m working my way through the brick. 😉 It’s a wonderful story, and Fantine’s descent is certainly to be noted.

      Frankenstein is on my to-be-read list, though I have listened to some of the musical and it’s quite nice. I’m looking forward to see how exactly Mary Shelley handles the introduction of so-called “resurrection” from the dead, and how she handles the themes of toying with a human life in the pursuit of knowledge, etc. Frankenstein has always been an interesting concept to me, I’ve just never gotten around to reading it.

      As for horror in general – I honestly don’t mind it. I don’t like modern horror, obviously, but classical horror is quite good at times. The Phantom of the Opera is…. to be honest, I hated the movie. I will reserve judgement until I read the book, however. The concept of a slow descent into depravity like in Les Miserables is something I like very much, and that feeling of horror when you see what people are willing to do sometimes such as in Fantine’s case is quite powerful.

      Overall, I don’t have much to say, considering I never really grew up on this genre and I haven’t gotten around to reading much myself. But I’m rather looking forward to it. 😉

      *vader vibes*

      #99834
      EricaWordsmith
      @ericawordsmith

        @r-m-archer

        Oh the music in that film…

        Yes… quite honestly the Phantom in the film is quite dashing with his mask on… Even more so than Raoul in my humble opinion.

        YES!! I totally agree with that. But I did pity the Phantom… he just wanted to be loved and admired for who he was, but he never could because of his ugliness. I absolutely pitied him…

        No, that was great! I love finding people who read books that I read that it feels like few people have gotten through.

        @sarah-inkdragon

        *Bangs head against the wall* That.. Book… is… long… I’m stuck right now in the part where Victor Hugo takes 40 pages of small-print to describe The Battle of Waterloo…

        I can’t wait to read that book… I’ll probably get to it around January maybe? I want to get through A Tale of Two Cities first.

        Ooh… you MUST read the book!! I think Erik is an INTJ… in the most despicable, insane version possible. And yes… Fantine has stuck with me for a long time… She faced everything I fear most with such bravery. I Dreamed a Dream is one of “my” songs…

        Well, if you have time to answer a question… If you had to pick a book that included something that horrified you most, what would it be and why did it horrify you?

        Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

        #99841
        R.M. Archer
        @r-m-archer

        Yes… quite honestly the Phantom in the film is quite dashing with his mask on… Even more so than Raoul in my humble opinion.

        I agree.

        YES!! I totally agree with that. But I did pity the Phantom… he just wanted to be loved and admired for who he was, but he never could because of his ugliness. I absolutely pitied him…

        Oh, yeah, absolutely. I didn’t mean to imply that he’s not pitiable in both versions. There’s just a much different ratio, I think, between pity and horror in the book compared to the movie.

        Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

        #99877
        Sink
        @sarah-inkdragon

        @ericawordsmith

        Hmm, something that horrifies me…. to be honest, I don’t really know. I suppose blind ignorance or forced ignorance by a powerful cause is horrifying, if that counts. Being forced to withhold a certain amount of naivety because of some power ruling over you doesn’t sound fun. I don’t really think there’s much that I’ve been exposed too, at least, that truly horrifies me. There is a difference between being terrified and horrified, you see. Something may terrify me, but not horrify me. So far, I haven’t really come across anything horrifying other than like I said, blind ignorance. Or willing ignorance. That is how worlds perish, my darlings.

        I have, however, never read a book with such a thing. Or at least, not with such a thing that is executed well. If you know of one, do tell.

        *vader vibes*

        #99973
        EricaWordsmith
        @ericawordsmith

          @r-m-archer

          They so messed up with Raoul’s hair… he would have been 100% better had they not made his hair so awful…

          Oh absolutely!! I felt a pity that made me want to hug the Phantom in the movie and slap Christine silly, but in the book… maybe that was part of the horror is that I felt confused about how I pitied him. It was a loftier pity that was very much there, but I didn’t feel the same level of compassion. I didn’t want Christine to be stuck with him, but exactly what could be done… There was no good ending for the Phantom. All I could do was feel the pain of something so twisted and terrible existing and feel pain for his broken life.

          @sarah-inkdragon

          Hmm, something that horrifies me…. to be honest, I don’t really know. I suppose blind ignorance or forced ignorance by a powerful cause is horrifying, if that counts. Being forced to withhold a certain amount of naivety because of some power ruling over you doesn’t sound fun.

          Ugh… that is awful… and willing ignorance… That drives me up the wall because, yes, I totally agree. Worlds fall and will continue to fall because of willing ignorance as long as life goes on.

          Hmmm… Horror and terror. That is true that there’s a difference. I think in stories I’m more easily horrified than terrified. I think for me being confronted with how cruel and ugly things can become can horrify me, not because I didn’t expect it or believe it possible, but because of their nature. Being robbed of dignity while a person’s mind and soul are still powerful horrifies me… Or specifically when someone’s body is disfigured whether living or dead… that has always horrified me. It won’t scare me necessarily, but it will horrify me.

          Tek an ohta! Tek an cala!

          #99974
          R.M. Archer
          @r-m-archer

          Oh absolutely!! I felt a pity that made me want to hug the Phantom in the movie and slap Christine silly, but in the book… maybe that was part of the horror is that I felt confused about how I pitied him. It was a loftier pity that was very much there, but I didn’t feel the same level of compassion. I didn’t want Christine to be stuck with him, but exactly what could be done… There was no good ending for the Phantom. All I could do was feel the pain of something so twisted and terrible existing and feel pain for his broken life.

          *nods* That’s a really good way of putting it!

          Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

        Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

        You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

        Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

        Pin It on Pinterest