There is a post on the Tale of Tales blog about the horror genre (specifically, a horror video game, but it can be applicable to other genres of entertainment). Michaël brings up an excellent point: horror is only fun as long as it is fictional. My first thought upon reading the entry was, "Holy fuck, someone made a video game about the Rwandan genocide?? Have they absolutely no taste whatsoever?" (Bonus question: am I wrong to be offended by the game for its chosen subject? Because it really does not feel right to me.)
The fictionality of horror is essential to my own enjoyment of the genre. I love love love gore-fests where supernatural creatures (e.g. vampires, zombies(!!), werewolves) are the enemies, but slasher movies with mortal human villains (e.g. the 'torture porn' movie trend) are so disturbing to me I can't deal with even sitting through the whole thing. On the other hand, when I'm not feeling disturbed, I find myself bored to tears by 'torture porn' movies, because there is absolutely no creativity put into trying to make the audience feel fear; there's only squickiness. It's like watching video taken in a slaughterhouse. Gory and disturbing, yes -- but nothing there to incite fear or excitement. And I haaaaate it when actual creativity has been replaced by attempts at being "edgy". I hate "edginess", oh god do I hate it. I hate it so much I won't write it without quotes, because it's always so phony.
Now I'm in the mood to watch some movies with "...Of The Dead" in the title. Hmmmmm. ;)
15 hours ago