the true crime dilemma

Halfway through adding the bulk of the links, and I’m taking a break at Let’s Not Meet. I’ve been wanting to do literally anything else for a while, and hashing out what I think counts as horror seems like a pretty productive way to procrastinate. So…

I haven’t listened to the podcast (yet!), but I know the sub the stories are taken from… the better posts there are genuinely some of the scariest content on Reddit. Still, I think they’re on the cusp of being something other than horror, on account of being ostensibly real encounters. The focus on near misses and what might have been is what brings me around. A defining quality of horror is that it’s cathartic. Taking power from ambient anxieties, and implications that, however uncomfortable, resonate because they’re universal. From the bleakest Bryan Bertino film to the most nihilistic Thomas Ligotti story, horror necessarily gives relatable forms to fears; a reassuring flip side to whatever awful thing we’re taking in. And bringing it back to LNM, whilst horror deals in truths, the victims are hypothetical. Nobody’s actually getting hurt. It’s an attenuated vaccine: fear without sadness. The distressingly close calls of Let’s Not Meet fit the bill.

This is, of course, a really subjective take. I want to err on the side of not imposing my own tastes on people, so things that straddle genres are in. Like, Lore might do episodes on HH Holmes and the Hinterkaifeck murders, but it’s not every episode that you have to reckon with actual tragedy, so it’s listed. If, like me, you’re kinda uncomfortable with this sort of stuff, keep an eye on the tags. “true crime” and “non-fiction” are a couple I’ll be especially diligent with.