I was about as naïve as kids came even in the 1950s.
But when I took a girl to a drive in movie, even I did not really
believe the girl with me grabbed me entirely because she was so
terrified by the makeup they put on Michael Landon to make him look like
And I admit it, I did not grab her back entirely because I felt the need to comfort her in her terror.
Real horror is produced by writers like Stephen King or movies like The Body Snatchers,
where the hideous monster is trusted by the audience until he shows
just the slightest hint that he is really one of the Aliens.
The same sort of thing happens when you go from movie goer to interrogator.
You get the chills as you realize that the person sitting there who
sounds so normal is actually a true psychopath, a person who could
slowly disembowel you without showing any emotion about it.
This chill of realization is what I call the Orwellian Chill.
When Orwell wrote Animal Farm and 1984, he made the most hideous villains use everyday language right up to and after the disemboweling.
He had heard his Marxist fellows use the same calm language and then seen what the Stalinists made of it.
Then read The Gulag Archipelago and see how this harmless and idealistic language turned into actions that would have made Himmler turn pale.
Never again will you mistake the horror monger for a run of the mill
speaker. When you realize what his language can really mean, you get
creeps that even Stephen King can‘t match.
Never again when you hear the word “extremist” will you think of the
speaker as harmless. Every bloody handed tyrant routinely calls those he
is killing “extremists.”
This alien in human form uses words like “productive discussion” to give you an idea what discussion he feels free to stamp out.
And, as in all really professional horror dramas, no one around you SEES THE MONSTER!
All they see is perfectly normal people using perfectly ordinary language.
I don’t need horror books.
I get the creeps damned near everywhere these days.