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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Psychological Horror is Superior, Here’s Why

There are many different horror genres, such as supernatural horror, slasher horror, and creature features. There is no singular kind of horror, which makes the film industry’s scary films so unique. However, there is a particularly interesting genre of horror that makes all of the others look generic. In my opinion, the most overlooked yet terrifying one is psychological horror.

If you’re not enthusiastic about horror movies or only subject yourself to cliche slasher movies, then you’re probably unaware of what psychological horror is. Psychological horror is a sub-genre that relies heavily on characters’ emotional and inner states to incite fear and suspense in the audience. It manipulates the fragility and nature of the human heart and mind by using elements such as paranoia, isolation, and insanity.

Psychological horror is done through mainly movies, with very few television shows centering around the category. However, not only big-time directors produce these kinds of media. Many web series on the internet such as “The Walten Files”, “Petscop”, and “The Mandela Catalogue” also use psychological horror elements as well as supernatural horror to provoke fear within the audience. This takes us to my prime example of why psychological horror is superior to any other genre.

Clipart of the human mind being affected by alertness and fear. This represents how the viewer is made to feel in danger when watching psychological horror. (The Noun Project)

“The Mandela Catalogue” is a series of YouTube videos developed by amateur filmmaker Alex Kister in 2021. It is set during the early 1990’s and late 2000’s in a fictional county in Wisconsin, United States. The county is invaded by supernatural creatures known as ‘alternates’ that are implied to be biblical demons. These beings use deception and manipulation to further lure their victims to their self-implicated deaths, such as audio mimicry and shapeshifting. They also take horrific forms, with some resembling humans but having genetically impossible proportions and abnormalities such as having no face.

Journalist and artist Gray Lee says, “What really makes the series terrifying is the fact that sometimes you can’t really process if it’s real or not. Like your brain sometimes cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction. So the hyperrealistic faces and atmosphere tricks your mind into thinking it may be real.”

“The Mandela Catalogue” is a great example of psychological horror because it uses surrealism to make the viewer feel like they also are in danger. The ‘found-footage’ style atmosphere and the dialogue of the characters are realistic to the point where you could be convinced it is based on a real story. Not only that, but we also see from different character’s points of view as well, including the antagonists. Many other amazing movies such as Us tend to use these tactics as well, with the entire film foreshadowing the plot-twist ending through the antagonist’s point of view.

In conclusion, psychological horror is superior to any other genre of horror because it doesn’t require jump scares or gore to be frightening, only a well-enough understanding of the human mind. Psychological horror takes a lot of emotional intelligence to master, and can’t just be developed by anyone. It can be horrifying, or it can be just flat out disturbing. Either way, psychological horror is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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About the Contributor
Gabbie Focht
Gabbie Focht, Staff Writer
Gabbie Focht, Freshman, describes herself as decisive, strong-willed, and warm-hearted. Gabbie’s passion for journalism started when she was in elementary school. She loves chinchillas, going to the beach, and fried chicken. She’s also a member of the Debate club and the Mock Trial club. Outside of school, she’ll be sleeping, playing tennis, or gaming.
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    Natalie BrownDec 13, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    • G

      Gabbie FochtDec 17, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      Yes, I love it too! I’m glad you enjoyed this article.