Skip to content

Survival Horror

June 10, 2010

Survival horror is a concept common among the video game and even film worlds. The term “survival horror” was first used to describe the 1996 Japanese release of Resident Evil and has since included games such as Silent Hill and Doom. However, this sub genre origins derive from horror fiction.

The purpose of this concept is to place a character(s) with limited survival skills in a situation where surviving is essential. Instead of straight violence, the emphasis is placed on problem solving and evasion. They are constantly checking and re-checking their supplies, ammunition and resources and utilizing their environment. Another common theme is isolation and usually involves the investigation and confrontation of horrific forces.

It is believed this type of sub genre has been traced back to works of H.P. Lovecraft. Archetypes have been linked to the books of H. P. Lovecraft, which include investigative narratives, or journeys through the depths. Stephen King’s The Stand is also been considered horror survival by many. Then there’s the end of the world survival novels such as Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.

Some think survival horror is becoming lost concept among video games. While films hold on to it strong especially with the Saw series still in full swing. Do you think survival horror maintains a strong force among fiction? What are your favorite survival novels? Have you ever written a story/novel that falls in this category?

Andrea has written a story where a couple gets trapped in a system of underground tunnels (much like the Paris catacombs) and becomes terrorized by unknown entities. Still sitting on a shelf waiting for special attention.
One Comment
  1. adampb permalink
    June 10, 2010 4:49 am

    My idea of survival fiction involves being dropped into an end of year dance recital only to find that the batteries on my ipod have gone flat, leaving nothing but the spectacle of 6 year olds in tutus dancing to 90’s one hit wonders.
    I have two daughters. They are only 4 and 2, but I can see my future and I shudder at the inhumanity. (But I know I will a proud Dad; I just like extracting the urine sample from the situation).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: