GenreList II: Cosmic Horror and Nightmare Fuel!

Source: Darwinius, Wikimedia Commons
Source: Darwinius, Wikimedia Commons

This time, on GenreList: Move over blood and guts, these chilling tales will redefine fear forever! Get ready to behold the elder mysteries and horrid truths of...cosmic horror!

Definition Time! Cosmic horror is a sub-genre of horror that deals with the unknown and the unknowable: things, places, and events that are so far beyond human experience that they are almost indescribable. If vanilla horror is a machete wielding psychopath, cosmic horror is the maddening, forbidden secret that turned a once mild-mannered professor into a machete-wielding psychopath.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft is acknowledged as the father of the cosmic horror genre, and while he was only recognized by a small group of like-minded individuals in his time, his work has gone on to inspire modern horror writers and aficionados. Lovecraft's Tales have influenced Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, Joyce Carol Oates and myriad other authors who have explored the things we fear. In Tales, you'll find "The Call of Cthulhu" and "At the Mountains of Madness" two classic stories that peel back the veil of reality and give you a glimpse of the horrors that have fascinated generations of fans.

Prometheus, Ridley Scott's only-sort-of-a-prequel to the beloved Alien franchise, may be a summer blockbuster but its fascination with the somewhat squicky origins of human life is all cosmic horror. While it might not be the most fulfilling flick for Alien fans, Prometheus visually delivers and offers a story that, love it or hate it, will have you talking for days.

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