By: Chanell “Chainsaw” Thomas
The two sentence horror story introduces a very different type of horror. This Internet phenomenon began on a reddit forum one year ago. The forum asked its readers: “What’s the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences?” This forum received over 15,000 responses, and many of them are extremely unsettling. However, in addition to being unsettling, these stories revolutionize how horror stories are told.
Personally, I believe these stories are so unsettling because they are all basic plots. However, nothing else about the story is determined; any one of us could become the protagonist. These strange occurrences could happen to anyone, because very few of the story’s protagonists are specified. For example,
“After so many years living alone in this large house I came to a startling revelation. In this time I had closed far more doors than I had opened.” -namelessuser
This story could potentially apply to anyone who has lived alone. Leaving so many loose ends in story telling forces me, as the reader, to put myself into the protagonist’s shoes, because the author does not give me anyone to identify with. This, I believe, is more effective than forcing readers to care about a character. Let’s be honest, everything is worse when it is happening to you. As these stories become more popular, executives in the film industry are starting to take notice. It’s possible that some of these stories may be used as plotlines in upcoming horror films.
Although I would love to see directors and screenwriters flex their creativity and flesh out these stories, I believe I would be disappointed with the end result. The film industry, especially within horror, has become a money making machine. Many executives release horror films to reap the profits without truly believing in the scary story, which would explain why there have been seven Saw films. I am very concerned that these 2 sentence horror stories would suffer the same fate. A once scary and simplistic story could become a stereotypical, unfulfilling horror trope that makes me cringe when I think about the price of the ticket. As long as Hollywood makes the film about the story and the basic horror of it, they may be able to begin a new trend that would revolutionize horror and storytelling.
Furthermore, I invite you to visit the reddit post and read through the stories; click here! If you’d like, you can write your own two sentence horror story in the comments below. I’ll start:
“I wish I wasn’t able to sleep through my brothers screams. But the door is locked, she can’t be caught, and he never remembers his tears or her laughter the next day.”