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katmarajade, Thank you for the virtual gift. *hugs you* You are one of the nicest people I have met on LJ (and in life - even if we haven't really met irl, but you know what I mean). I luff you bb!

Happy Halloween, guys!

Anyway so this weekend, I was thinking about my love for the Unreliable Narrator and how it so often plays a part in horror.

I might write an essay (or two) about unreliable narration in general later, but here are some of my favourite horror/creepy stories with unreliable narration.



In no particular order:

*The Haunting of Hill House and We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.

In the first you're never quite sure how much is really happening and how much of it is in the characters mind. It is quite clear that Hill House is not sane, but how much is this due to Elanor. Does the house affect her because it is actively picking her, or is it just because it was time for Elanor to start a long overdue cracking up.

In the second, the narrator (Mary-Kat) outright lies to us, or at least keeps things from us. In a way I find this much more horrifying than Hill House, because with that at least there is a possibility that it's supernatural and out of our control.

*Perfect Blue and Black Swan
It's pretty obvious that Black Swan was influenced by Perfect Blue.

Both of them feature a protagonist who is losing her mind. Perfect Blue ties up it neater, but for the most part is much more ambiguous. In both cases - you aren't sure where reality ends and begins.

*Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni/Higurashi - When They Cry
This series (and the sister series Umineko to some extent) lives on this concept. To explain would be to give away the whole series, but it is a really good story (even if the animation is pretty dodgy at times).

*Most things with a twist ending, lol!



What are your thoughts on unreliable narration/you favourite horror themes?

Happy Halloween flist! Don't eat too much candy! ;)

Comments

( 4 Secrets — Tell Me a Secret )
asimaiyat
Oct. 31st, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
Unreliable narration is one of my favorite/least-favorite devices -- sometimes it gets TOO scary for me. As someone who suffers from some mental health problems, the idea of losing control of my own perspective on the world around me is really terrifying, especially when the character ends up unwittingly hurting other people. I remember one of the first stories to really scare me as a kid was a book called [i]The Haunted Mask[/i], one of R.L. Stine's [i]Fear Street[/i] series, where the main character slowly realized that she was the one who'd been murdering all her friends. Completely fucked with my head.

[i]Memento[/i] is one of my favorites exploring that theme, although it's more of a thriller. The ending really profoundly freaked me out.

I also recently saw a movie that's kind of an interesting variation on the theme. It's called [i]The Perfect Host.[/i] The POV character of the movie struggles to avoid being drawn into the delusions of another character.

Happy Halloween!
secret_weapon
Nov. 1st, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, while I'm sure it doesn't compare to you, I've had a few dark periods where watching/reading something has really fucked me up because I was identifying a bit too much with the characters.

Although I enjoy unreliable narration even without a horror element because I like seeing different perspectives on the same scenario and how our own assumptions and prejudices colour our observations.

I've never seen Memento all the way through (I caught the end once when it was showing), but I'd like to. The Perfect Host sounds interesting, I may check it out.
katmarajade
Nov. 1st, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
*glomps you*
Horror movies and stories freak me the fuck out. I avoid them. I am a wimp like that.
secret_weapon
Nov. 1st, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
*glomps back*

That's because you have never watched a horror film with me :P I will protect you with bad jokes and not-so-witty commentary
( 4 Secrets — Tell Me a Secret )

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