The Paperless Press
Weekly Digest #111
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In this digest-
1. Article- Scary vs Creepy: A bone-chilling debate
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
Scary vs Creepy: A bone-chilling debate
By: Mihir Rao
Fear is a common theme in popular culture and media, ranging from movies, tv shows, to books and video games. Fear in these media is utilized in such a way so that it would elicit a thrilling feeling, leaving the user intrigued and curious.
But, what is fear actually?
Fear is a basic emotion evolved to assist humans in surviving harsh climates and to alert them of potential predators or dangers. This is accomplished through the amygdala alerting the rest of the body toward a potential danger, causing a number of effects such as:
Sped up breathing
Increase in heartbeat
Non-essential systems slowing down
Dilation in pupils
However, Fear is of two different types: Horror, and Terror.
Horror is the general definition of fear, which most media utilise: It occurs when you see something that’s openly dangerous: Things like heights, lions, spiders can induce a strong fear, which is valid, since they could pose a threat to one.
However, there is a second type of fear: Terror.
Terror is an unorthodox fear, not usually experienced in daily life. Terror is a strong feeling of unease or discomfort that arises in response to certain situations. This feeling is often very ambiguous and leaves the person feeling unsure of what to expect or how to respond.
Terror can also be triggered by a variety of factors, including physical appearance, behaviours, sounds or environments. Characteristic causes of terror are dark rooms, certain smiles, or abandoned buildings.
However, why did this fear evolve? If there is no apparent danger to the person, why do people find some things ‘creepy’? This is usually due to the same reason that normal fear is experienced: Dangers. With normal horror, the person is presented with an explicit danger and hence, is afraid. However with creepiness, the media may not be openly scary. Generally, there is an element of ambiguity or uncertainty in the media which may cause fear, since the person may not be able to judge if there is an apparent danger or not.
Horror has been successfully used in many media, be it games, television, movies or even books. Although it’s used so widely, it has some drawbacks which may make it ineffective. With horror, since the danger is so apparent, the person would only experience fear for a very short amount of time. However, there are pros and cons to both of them:
Horror - Horror is very useful in putting the audience at the edge of their seats quickly, and providing a thrilling experience without too much of effort.
Horror - Horror is blatant and explicitly shown to the person consuming the media. The use of horror may not be for everybody.
Creepiness - Creepiness is a very versatile tool, allowing the person consuming the media to interpret it as they wish, which allows for a very thrilling and interesting experience.
Creepiness - If not used correctly, creepiness may not work at all, leaving the consumer with a bad impression of the story as a whole.
Another feature of creepiness is the uncanny valley, a concept in animation and robotics. When a character becomes more life-like, there is a certain point where the character would elicit a strong feeling of repulsion and fear. This is a very important concept to take into consideration when creating something, as this could aid the story or ruin it entirely.
If the uncanny valley is not used correctly or is accidentally reached when making a character, this could adversely affect the storyline and not allow the story to develop properly. This could happen in two different ways:
If the uncanny valley is accidentally reached when the story is not meant to be creepy, it might disrupt the pace of the story, and may even scare the reader when it is not supposed to.
The uncanny valley not being used correctly may leave the reader uninterested, and make the story much more boring and not allow it to develop properly.
To conclude, horror and creepiness are two amazing tools in a story and if used correctly, can really flesh out the plot and deepen the lore of the media. Horror and creepiness generally may not appeal to every audience, however it is an integral asset for many, if not all forms of media.
By: Abhimanyu Rao
By: Agastya Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
-The Reluctant Traveler with Eugene Levy
- Sudha Murthy's Stories of Wit and Magic
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