Horror is a genre of fiction with the intent to scare, frighten, or disgust. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere that invokes the fears of the reader, player, or viewer. Horror is frequently supernatural but can encompass any genre or theme to suit its audience. Often the central menace of the work is an unstoppable being meant to invoke human helplessness. The genre of horror has ancient roots all the way back from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. 18th century Gothic horror was when the genre became popularized by writers like Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe. The Gothic tradition blossomed into a film revolution, with German expressionists making films and terrorizing audiences with pictures like Nosferatu and the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The proliferation of cheap films followed along with penny novels. Influential writers like H.P. Lovecraft established new genres in the 18th century with monsters beyond our wildest dreams entering our nightmares instead. Early cinema like Dracula and Frankenstein and the Cat and the Canary established horror as a dominant film genre. Many modern novels owe a lot to this golden period. One of the best known contemporary horror writers is Stephen King, who's many books and stories have been adapted into films of feature length and TV miniseries, including It, featuring the titular character portrayed by Tim Curry. Best selling books in the horror genre continue to sell like hot cakes on a Saturday morning.
One of the defining traits of horror is its adaptability. In a sense similar to roller coaster rides, the audience seeks out thrills of horror anywhere they can get it: books, short stories, film, television, it's all a viable conduit for the genre of fear. One see a problem with this and horror has often been the center of controversy over the years. It is now a commonly accepted viewpoint that horror is at the forefront of commentary on the world's problems.