An Introduction to Moral Horror

Horror is as varied and multifaceted as rock music. You have your slashers, you have post-apocalyptic horror, you have zombie horror (which often goes hand-in-hand with post-apocalyptic), and psychological horror. Hauntings and possessions are two forms of supernatural horror, and they occasionally mix as with James Wan’s The Conjuring. There’s torture porn, monster movies, experimental/abstract flicks and, my personal favourite, sci fi horror. And god only knows how many of those have been shot as found footage or mockumentaries.

Each subgenre has had its moment in the limelight—zombies are popular at the moment, coming on the heels of the Saw-driven torture porn craze. Found footage has been immensely successful twice in the last decade and a half thanks to The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity series. And I’m hoping—really hoping—that the good old haunted house film makes a comeback in the next few years. But there’s another class of horror you may not have noticed, in large part because it’s often disguised as other subgenres or completely different genres entirely. I wonder if their creators are actually aware they’re contributing to this largely hidden category. I call it moral horror, and it’s been on my brain the last little while.