As usual (for book tour days) This post is out in the bright sparkly world of *now* and my review of Merry’s book will come out later today (namely at the crack of noon).
Humor in Horror
Hi there! My name is Merry Freer and I am the author of (Subtitled: “An Atheist’s Experience with Demonic Possession”).
Horror is supposed to be scary, right? But does that mean it can’t be injected with a little humor here and there?
Humor breaks the tension and it helps to build characters.
A horror novel, or even a novel in the genres of paranormal and occult are a little more balanced and enjoyable when levity is utilized.
I don’t write about vampires, werewolves, witches or other paranormal creatures, though I imagine such a creature could be drawn by the writer as more likeable by giving it a sense of humor.
My creature is a demon, “The Beast,” and there is nothing funny about him. The humor in “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” is created by the earth-bound characters.
How does any author bring humor into a horror story?
For example, Adriana (The target of The Beast) has a very dry sense of humor. When using the herbs and spices she believes she needs in order to ward off The Beast, she comments:
“Who knew you could find so many demon repellents in the spice aisle and produce section of Albertsons?”
It’s not roll on the floor humor, but it provides a moment of amusement when dealing with a somber subject.
When the protagonist, Drew, is having a conversation with Sweetie (his mother) about the color he and his wife have just painted the bedroom they are occupying in Sweetie’s home,
Drew says: “It was pink! A man shouldn’t have to sleep in a pink bedroom!”
Sweetie counters with: “It was not pink. It was ‘Sunday Brunch,’ a lovely, neutral shade of beige.”
Again, the humor is subtle. It helps to define Sweetie’s character as one you can count on for a smile – in her phraseology, her reactions to events, and her naivety.
The takeaway here is that humor need not be avoided in a horror story. It’s a tension breaker and a character builder.
Take advantage of its usefulness to your story.
And I have a question for you guys:
What is your favorite horror story or movie that blends humor into it?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and have a few thoughts of my own (Demons, Dolls and Milkshakes for one) and I’m putting together a couple posts on the subject. 10 of the funniest Horror Movies and 10 of the milk-out-your-nose-hilarious horror books.