Another reason the horror genre has suffered is that a lot of us refuse to include popular series like Twilight and the Vampire diaries into the horror genre. No I don’t find them scary like I would typically consider horror to be, but I also know that vampires had always been considered horror and now suddenly it’s a whole different genre. Whether it’s horror authors that refuse to acknowledge these books or whether the writers of these books refuse to include themselves in the genre is up for discussion. I suppose what I’m getting at is that the marketing decisions that drove these books out of horror and into the YA or some other category shouldn’t be allowed to define genre.
The same goes for zombies, zombies were once the bread and butter of the horror genre. Now they are more popular than ever, but they’re being labeled as post-apocalyptic fiction. The main point I’m trying to make is that the horror genre needs to become a more attractive place for the more commercial aspects of fiction. We need to open our blood thirsty arms and embrace all of these subgenres. If you are going to exclude zombies, vampires, paranormal and werewolves from the horror category than what do we have left? Slashers and serial killers (two of my favorite topics) but those topics aren’t enough to make a genre. I get the feeling that everyone who considers themselves horror writers are simply waiting for the next Stephen King to come along. Someone who can be mainstream and scary at the same time, but think about it, what would King be categorized as today? Couldn’t “Carrie” be considered YA? Wouldn’t Salem’s Lot fall into the vampire category?
I think that horror needs to be more broadly defined not reserved for gore and axe murderers. A lot of these blogs are saying that horror needs to be saved, but if we welcomed all of these subgenres under the horror umbrella then we’d be doing just fine.