What Makes a Good Horror Story?

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Many times people relate a good horror story to a nameless amount of speculations, but actually their poor assumptions demonstrate only how little we know about the matter. Horror is controversial in itself because while some intend to logically explain the aspects that create an effective horror story, others prefer to justify our interest stating that we are naturally terror-loving creatures. In my opinion, I believe an effective horror story must be as highly suspenseful, fear-driven, and mysterious as it can be.
First of all, keeping the suspense is as essential to the horror genre as the air for breathing. One good example of suspenseful story is The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. In this short tale, these two are latent from the beginning. While the two men go down to the vaults, we get hints that prepare us for its tragic denouement. Early in the story, the reason why Montresor- the main character- seeks revenge against Fortunato is revealed. You can also perceive suspense when the author introduces phrases like “I vowed revenge” and “at length I would be avenged”. Nevertheless, what the reader actually perceives is the perverseness of a man unable to forget a hostile action from someone he called “friend”; that is why- in his lips- this word has ironical connotation. Also, Montresor is not as good as he claims, instead he rejoices in his revenge. Early in the narration, he emphasizes how he smiles at his victim’s lack of awareness of his real plan. When referring to his vengeance, he says: “my smile was now at the thought of his immolation”; the author highlights now because the character confesses he’s been kind to his victim but he did not appreciate his . Yet, the strains that lead to Fortunato’s death conti...

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...s depicted everywhere because we know very little about the characters except that one is unreasonably committed to kill the other at any cost, while the other just appears to us in his most deplorable drunken state. As for their motives, they are vaguely defended. So, The Cask of Amontillado qualifies extravagantly for a good mystery narrative.
Therefore, a story cannot be cataloged “horror” unless it is written taking into consideration factors like fear, mystery and suspense. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Alan Poe is mysterious, suspenseful and chilling in its own subtle manner. Although Poe emphasizes suspense and mystery more than any other factor, I believe this story is a great example of horror storytelling. When combined wisely, these three elements creates exquisitely well written piece of writing that people will keep reading for many years to come.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that an effective horror story must be suspenseful, fear-driven, and mysterious.
  • Analyzes the suspense of edgar allan poe's the cask of amontillado.
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