My Supernatural Love for the Supernatural Subgenre

New things are exciting. Whether it’s a job, relationship, or travelling, new experiences are both fantastic and a little scary. However, they’re something everyone goes through. For me, it was transferring colleges and picking a major. Whether it’s an event like mine or something tiny, new things just happen. When I see film and TV storytellers take the natural fear that comes with these experiences and turn it into a horrific visual, that gets me excited both as a writer and as someone who values creativity.

Supernatural media takes a normal situation and introduces an otherworldly element. It takes the fear of the unknown that comes with new experiences and makes it something you definitely do not know. When I think of the supernatural subgenre being done right, Hellraiser, Alien, The Shining and Courage the Cowardly Dog come to mind.

Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987) takes the normal world you know and introduces it to gruesome pleasures. A dimension of pain and suffering that the human brain literally can’t comprehend. While I don’t think I want to test my mettle against whatever the Cenobites may have in mind, the concept of Hellraiser stays with me. Not only is it unique, but the existence of the Cenobite world is the definition of supernatural. It’s huge, inhuman and terrifying, yet just real enough for the idea of it to keep you up at night.

Hellraiser’s Lament Configuration (

Courage the Cowardly Dog (1996-2002) may seem odd to be on a post about Cenobites and Xenomorphs, but this kids’ show is certainly a pioneer for the supernatural. Every episode has a disturbing, new plot. For example, there’s one where Courage tries to uncover the secrets of a restaurant serving human meat. Not only are the plots supernatural, but the designs of the scary creatures typically won’t fit the show’s animation style. King Ramses is 3D and CGI and The Spirit of the Harvest Moon is a realistic floating white head with black eye sockets. It’s jarring to see them in a 2D, brightly colored, cartoon show. These are prime examples of Courage the Cowardly Dog being incredibly supernatural because the basic premise is just of an old couple and their dog living out in the countryside. Growing up, this was one of my all-time favorite shows, and I always credit it in giving me the love for the supernatural subgenre and horror as a whole.

There isn’t a supernatural film or TV show I won’t watch. The idea of being creeped out by an extraordinary event happening to ordinary people is always exciting. It goes back to the idea that the supernatural subgenre takes advantage of the fear in new experiences. Sure, they can be exciting, but what will you do if something traditionally unthinkable occurs? To me, supernatural stories are the best examples of a good fiction writer. Some filmmakers choose to tell stories of completely new and original places, but few can bring an outrageous concept to a place like your backyard and make it make sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: