I like horror a lot, but the problem is that the quality is very sketchy. Stephen King's last short story collection, Full Dark, No Stars, for instance, was very good, but his little chapbook, Blockade Billy was just crappy. There's an author named Brian Keene who occasionally does something good, but he hasn't done anything good for quite awhile.
I recently watched both The Last Exorcism and The Devil, but was very unimpressed by either one. I won't even talk about Jonah Hex. I was a sad panda when I saw that. In my opinion, Ghost Story, both the movie with John Houseman and the book by Peter Straub, is an example of good horror. The same goes for both the book and the movie The Shining. The movie, Silent Hill, could have been good if it wanted to be, but it just didn't seem to want to be. The movie, Alone in the Dark, was one of the worst movies of all time. Slasher things, of which I consider Saw a subset, are usually really more porn than horror. Vampire stories have been forever sullied. I don't think I'll ever take another vampire seriously.
H.P. Lovecraft and Poe go without saying, and Pseudopod does a great job of horror short fiction; however, lots of horror short fiction is teh suck. A good example would be that author I mentioned earlier, Brian Keene. He has written many sucky short stories. He wrote one in which the idea was that Lazarus was a zombie, and then crowed and crowed in an afterword to the story about how original it was, to which I say, "Pfft. Most. Un-original concept. ever."
Preacher, Lucifer, and Sandman can all be kinda included in the genre, and they were all good, but House of Mystery, while a very good concept, has usually been crap.
Does anyone have any good horror suggestions?
King has been somewhat uneven. Even some of the good stories he wrote were made into terribly bad movies. The actual story for Maximum Overdrive was pretty good. The movie, of course, was so bad it was funny. It was a very good novel, but the TV miniseries was unwatchable.
See, suspense is scary because there is the constant worry by the reader that what is happening in the book could happen to them. There could really be a killer, a stalker, rapist, or conspiracy. But when you start introducing things in which I do not believe -- ghosts, goblins, David Bowie, demons, benevolent Republicans, evil leprechauns -- then the "this could happen to me" fear is tossed out the window.
By contrast, I love some science fiction and fantasy because those genres are pure escapism. They're all about the "what-ifs," not about evoking a single emotion.
Buffy was sometimes pretty good about that sort of thing, when it wasn't trying to be a pre-teen girl's idea of Dark Shadows. However, a lot of Buffy was pretty unwatchable, so I didn't actually get to enjoy the entire series.
I think there are some Batman stories (not necessarily even the overtly supernatural ones) could fit right into the horror genre.
Check out the speech, it's on the latest episode of the Space Dogs Podcast.
The ones on Netflix instant look very iffy...
For those of you who scoff that Horror holds no joy for you because you don't become frightened, I have to ask: Just how frightened do you want to be? Do you want to be reduced to a quivering lump and sleep with all the lights on and your head tucked under all the covers, too afraid to get up to use the bathroom? Do you think a horror story hasn't done its job if you don't end up as an inpatient at Arkham Asylum, wailing about the rat in the walls or The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young?
On the spectrum of fright, American Horror Story definitely doesn't keep me awake nights, but every now and then there will be just this slight little shiver-inducing scene. That's really all I need to enjoy a horror story. Just that slight little shiver. I often get that from Stephen King. 11/22/63, his latest, had just a couple of that types of scenes, but the reader had to have some familiarity with King's prior work to appreciate what he was hinting at. Otherwise, it was a workmanlike time travel story with some flashes of brilliant pathos that rise above the bounds of genre. I have a suspicion that King will one day be recognized as a writer worthy of inclusion in the canon on the basis of stories like The Body, , The Green Mile, The Mist, The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon, Gerald's Game, Delores Claiborne, and a few others.