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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2017 > MONSTRUM OBSCURA


Has the time come to go beyond the ‘classic’ horror monsters? Alex Davis considers the alternatives

If movie fans will forgive the pun, there is a very ‘universal’ pantheon of monsters that are commonly used in horror and seem to retain their popularity, almost regardless of how many titles come out featuring them. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about – that triumvirate of werewolves, vampires and zombies. True, there also remains a very healthy market for tales inspired by HP Lovecraft’s cthulhu mythos, but that seems to mainly be the case in short stories rather than novels, and has never truly filtered through to the horror movie consciousness on a large scale either.

And let’s not crab the stories featuring these oft-used creatures – we have had a lot of great takes on them, and some of the ultimate horror classics that leap to the minds of laymen and experts alike – Dracula or Frankenstein, anyone? – but are we coming to a point where, after decades of fiction bringing these old-school monsters, we perhaps need to look a little deeper? Mythology, legend and religion alike are loaded with beings to strike fear into the human heart – so why are there so many monsters simply unable to get a look in?

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