What Makes a Monster Scary?

As some sort of excuse for my lack of recent posting, something which will likely continue into next week – though I will try and reblog some articles, etc – here’s an article I wrote last year, approximately, about one theory of psychology behind why monsters appear scary to us. Appropriate for Hallowe’en day, yes?

Also check out Aussie Owned and Read’s Hallowe’en Hop, where bloggers are invited to post and read about what scares them.

Alexandrina Brant

Not what makes a villain villainous, or what makes a person ‘evil’, but what makes an actual dark monster incur fear in us.

For this Doctor Who day, I’m looking at the creatures, the ideas behind why we feel scared of, for instance, the Cybermen and the Daleks. In many plots, a creature of the deep is needed – in films and TV, this is for watcher thrill as well as plot-tension. In books, a similar idea is used, but less for visual, though I myself ‘see’ characters and settings in my mind. We might want to shock the readers; we might want to raise the tension and the horror element. With our natural curiosity of the macabre, monsters make the perfect emotion teasers. When our heroes are facing a monster, we quake for them.

But what exactly creates that?

Take Hopper from A Bug’s Life, for example. You might…

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