Is this Horror?

I’m working on a story about a girl who escapes a doomsday cult – right before a virus breaks out that turns people into violent psychopaths (technically not zombies, but pretty close :slight_smile:)

There’s plenty of suspense and near-death encounters, but also some creepy religious stuff in the cult – but not overly bloody, sexual, or Satanic. I want to explore how regular people can become brainwashed into following a charismatic leader. For example, a father refuses to defend his young daughter against the cult leader’s harsh discipline after she’s caught reading a newspaper.

Does Horror have to be SUPER SCARY or can it include more subtle scares, like psychological trauma?

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Honestly, I love stuff like that. I would consider it horror. I think it’s even scarier than monsters because it’s something that I could imagine happening to me or someone I know and that gives it an extra edge. I can get chills from reading a zombie book, but there’s just something extra scary about realistic creepy people.

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I believe this qualifies as a psychological horror/thriller.
Horror does have a sub-genre called Psychological Horror (i.e. it messes with your head, and what makes it so scary is that since it’s the human mind, it could happen in real life.)

I write psychological-supernatural thrillers. My stories (or rather, my stories to come; I’ve planned a lot, but haven’t written much) includes many characters with mental “differences”. and one of my stories has a cult at the middle of the plot, but the way I write it falls more into the thriller genre.

It really depends on how you write it. It does, however, seem to be more horror than thriller.

(Horror is a more commercial genre, as horror has a huge fan following, so if you want more views, I’d suggest tagging it as horror if it has any major horror elements.)

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cough cough
jsyk, the genre is psychological horror-

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Ooh good to know! Thanks!

Yes, quite so.

Horror has a lot of subgenres, and often thriller is close to horror - from the movie side of entertainment crime classics like “Seven” or “Silence of the Lambs” come to mind. From these examples it’s easy to see that horror - as a category - is quite loosely defined nowadays.

It can be anything from the classic gothic ghost stories to modern crime thrillers with psychopathic mass-murderers. In the end, I’d not worry that much of the labelling.

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Awesome! Thank you!

Thanks for being honest about fan following. So much as I like to write just for the joy of it, extra views don’t hurt!

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Yw!

What ends up deciding the genre is usually the amount of suspense over fear; Junji Ito’s works are definitely that of horror, while Stephen King’s works fall into the Horror-Thriller/Psychological Thriller category.

one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen is outbreak.
it was scary because it could easily come true.
better than some movies that only scare you with surprising scenes or people shouting real loud.

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That’s because the movie had solid actors.

Also, the intent of Outbreak was to make the movie realistic, even though some of the parts are Hollywood Realistic.

LOL… sorry but I find that reading anything is never super scary, because the scare factor is limited to the words on the page. Sure some readers have a good imagination and they can see pictures with the words that they read. Sadly, I’m not one of those readers. I do know that a good horror book (not horror movie) needs 2 things. Dark and Creepy.

Dark is the feeling you want to push in a book, the deeper you go into the story the darker it gets.

Creepy is the characters, setting, and sometimes placements.

Right now I’m reading “Ratman’s Notebook” (which I’m hoping to review). If you don’t know, Ratman’s Notebook is a short novel written in 1968, and two movies were made from it. Willard and Ben (from the 1970’s)…

Anyway, story has dark moments and there are a few creepy things happening. Ben the rat is much more smarter in the Ratman’s Notebook, and it seemed to work because the story is dark.

I’m not sure if Kim Newman, a writer that wrote the intro in The Ratman’s Notebook, claiming that the success of the book pushed publishers to seek out horror writers like Stephen King.

Yes! I’m going to Outbreak from the POV of a Branch Dividians-like cult.

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If it helps, here’s the blurb I’ve been working on. The current title is “Survive and Be Saved.” I feel like it’s turn into a psychological horror/drama…

When the world crumbles in the panic of a viral outbreak, no one will be celebrating – except for a radical cult of doomsday preppers, isolated in the woods of East Texas .

Lily thought she left the cult and her family behind when she escaped to pursue a life of her own, with education replacing blind faith.

Ben thought his future was already decided. Like his father and grandfather, he was destined to lead the cult through the impending apocalypse, preaching God’s Word to those who survived and rooting out nonbelievers.

These two childhood friends will be thrown back together when a sudden outbreak turns its victims violent with unbearable pain. As civilization collapses, Lily’s best chance to survive lies within the cult’s isolated and heavily armed compound, while Ben is forced to question his deepest beliefs.

“Let the dead bury the dead.”
“Survive and be saved.”

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It is horror. Oh, my goodness, and the best kind too :grinning::clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2:
It’s psychological horror.

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YES PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR IS MY SHIT-

Yeah, market it as psychological/paranormal horror. That genre has a huuuuge cult following XD

wOW AYYYY I LIVE IN HOUSTON-
BUT I MEAN, TEXAS IS HUGE, SO, UM, NOT SURE IF IT REALLY MEANS ANYTHING-

Ok, so I think you should tag this with “post-apocalyptic, zombie, cult, survival, outbreak, apocalypse, zombie-apocalypse, virus, horror, paranormal, thriller, drama, psychological, psychological-horror, doomsday”

You should probably file this under the genre horror though; for my story I didn’t, mostly because horror isn’t really a main focus, but since there’s a cult AND zombies, filing it under horror would draw in more people who would enjoy the story.

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I’M A SUCKER FOR THAT SHIT TOO. HAHA :joy::v:

Y E S -
I MEAN, WHAT IS SCARIER THAN THE HUMAN MIND?
WE ALL HAVE IT, AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU DOES TOOOOOO-

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Exactly!
That’s what makes it scarier! It could happen. It’s so realistic!—kinda XD

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I agree - sounds like psychological horror.

I like the blurb, it’s well written, although instead of: …when a sudden outbreak turns its victims violent with unbearable pain… why not go with how you described the opening of the thread, when you called them "violent psychopaths? Sounds better to me.

Also, could just be me, but the title didn’t grab me so much. With the “Be Saved,” it kinda makes it sounds like a religious life-guide or something - which might turn people off. Have you thought of just “Survive” - ?