Horror in the 21st century

Horror literature in the 21st century

Horror literature moved in many different directions in the early 21st century, often mixing with other genres and literary styles, or using experimental or unusual literary devices to heighten the feeling of horror and unease.

A famous example of postmodern horror is House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewsky. This incredibly strange novel is a confusing mix of journal entries, letters and footnotes that tells the story of a house that somehow defies the rules of physics. The novel frequently shifts between narrators and employs many other postmodern devices that create a unique kind of horror, which attempts to make readers question their own sanity while reading the book.  

Though they are more romance than horror, the incredibly successful Twilight books (2005-2008) by Stephenie Meyer are notable because of their reinvention of vampires, an iconic monster from the horror tradition. Meyer’s vampires are usually characterised as mysterious, romantic outcasts rather than terrible monsters.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) started a trend of genre mashups within the field of horror literature. It contains the entire text of Jane Austen’s original romantic novel Pride and Prejudice (1813), but then includes extra text that adds a zombie apocalypse to the plot and casts main characters Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as professional zombie hunters. Despite this rather silly premise, the novel gained widespread popularity and paved the way...

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