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character Horror and positive character arcs

If the goal is to make a horror film as scary as possible, could it be the case that character arcs (at least positive ones) can get in the way of delivering fear to the audience?

This, of course, has to do with my view on what I personally like in horror. The kind of horror I'm going for is of the uncanny valley variety, combined with a bit of cosmic horror. Part of what I like, is the feeling that the source of horror isn't meant to be understood. But if we can't understand the source of horror, doesn't that almost by definition exclude a lot of possible character arcs?

I feel like if I allow my characters to understand the horror, they will stand too much of a fighting chance and become heroes, similar to Ripley in Alien (great movie, though not really scary imo). I want my characters to be given the impression that they are not even worthy of being pawns in this cosmic game that is way beyond what they could grasp.

The only piece of fiction I can think of off the top of my head that does this type of horror really well, are the mangas by Junji Ito. I would probably include some japanese film titles too, but I can't think of any at the moment. In j-horror, I think it helps that the films are more spectacle-driven than character-driven (for lack of better words). Ito's characters are surprisingly unremarkable, and I think it kinda helps.
 
I love your approach to the horror genre . Yes that's the essence of fear, the unknown and the helpless humans against it. Since you mentioned cosmic horror I recommend reading all of H.P lovecraft's novels. He is considered the father of the cosmic horror style.
I think you are taking the exact right approach to the horror genre.If executed properly ofcourse.
I don't know if you are a found footage horror fan but I personally have found some of the best movies of this style in found footage category. Japanese movies are great too ofcourse.
 
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