Horror and Harry Potter
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is often categorized as a fantasy series or a young adult series, but upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the series is actually a horror thriller. While the series contains elements of both fantasy and young adult fiction, the dark and terrifying aspects of the series are what drive the plot and make it a true horror story.
From the very beginning of the series, the reader is introduced to a villain who is pure evil. Voldemort is not just a typical villain, but a truly terrifying monster. He is willing to do anything to achieve his goals, including murdering innocent people and sacrificing his own followers. Voldemort’s willingness to use dark magic and his complete disregard for human life make him a truly terrifying villain.
The series also contains many elements of a traditional horror story. From ghosts to cursed objects to dark forests, the series is full of classic horror tropes. The Forbidden Forest, in particular, is a terrifying place full of dangerous creatures and unknown terrors. The use of ghosts, such as Nearly Headless Nick and Moaning Myrtle, adds to the creepy atmosphere of the series.
The use of dementors, creatures that feed on happiness and leave their victims in a state of despair, is perhaps one of the most terrifying aspects of the series. The depiction of the dementors and their effects on Harry and his friends is truly chilling. The fact that these creatures are employed as guards at a school is a testament to the danger that the characters face.
As a side note, the dementors are truly frightening. Their appearance, with their rotting, decaying bodies and their hooded cloaks, is enough to inspire fear in even the bravest of characters. The fact that they drain happiness from their victims and leave them in a state of despair is a truly horrifying concept. The idea of having one’s emotions consumed by a creature is a common horror trope, and the dementors embody this trope perfectly.
Additionally, the dementors are symbolic of death and decay. Their presence is often associated with the death of a loved one, as Harry first encounters them after the death of his parents. The idea of being confronted with the physical embodiment of death is a common horror theme, and the dementors represent this idea in a particularly terrifying way.
The dementors are also employed as guards at the wizarding prison, Azkaban, adding to their horror credentials. The fact that the Ministry of Magic would employ such creatures as guards speaks to the danger that they represent. The idea of being trapped in a prison guarded by such terrifying creatures is enough to make anyone shudder.
Finally, the dementors are a reminder of the darkness and evil that exists in the world of Harry Potter. The fact that such creatures exist and are allowed to roam freely is evidence that there are truly dark forces at work in the wizarding world. This sense of darkness and danger is a common theme in horror, and the dementors serve as a reminder that the world of Harry Potter is not always a safe and happy place.
Back to the general view that Harry Potter is a horror thriller, the series also explores themes of death, loss, and grief. The deaths of characters such as Cedric Diggory and Sirius Black are particularly devastating and add to the overall sense of horror and darkness in the series. The exploration of death and what lies beyond also adds to the horror elements of the series.
Finally, the series features a number of terrifying villains beyond Voldemort. Characters such as Bellatrix Lestrange, Dolores Umbridge, and Fenrir Greyback are all horrifying in their own ways. The fact that these villains exist in the same world as Harry and his friends makes the danger feel all the more real.
So, while the Harry Potter series is often thought of as a fantasy series or a young adult series, it is actually a horror thriller. The series contains all of the classic horror elements, from terrifying villains to cursed objects to dark forests. The exploration of death and loss adds to the overall sense of horror and darkness in the series. While the series may not be traditional horror, it certainly contains enough terrifying moments and themes to qualify as a horror story.