Dark Fantasy

Horror, romance, comedy, action...

Dark Fantasy is a well-established subgenre, though you might not recognise the name. It is seductive, thrilling and sometimes down right cheeeeeesy. What is it? Vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, demons and all manner of  nasties hiding in the dark. But, it’s not just scary stories… It comes in the form of horror, action, comedy, romance and more.

Most recently, the world has been abuzz with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Half the fanbase is violently upset and revolted by her take on vampires and the other half (most of which has only recently discovered this genre) are rabidly fanatic about it.

The basics are (usually): The story is usually set in the present or (starts off) in recent history; the basics of history and reality as we know it sets the background; and vampires, werewolves and all the other things that go bump in the night are the flavour that draw in the readers (and viewers) of this subgenre.

Some authors seduce their readers with the grim (and sometimes rather watered down) aspects of a romantic relationship with a dark lover. Some authors prefer to stick to keeping these dark creatures the Threat. Some authors pick at all the possible flaws in the myths and legends surrounding these beasties to make us laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

Examples you are likely to have encountered include: Anne Rice’s vampire and witch novels, inlcuding Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned; Brahm Stoker’s DraculaDawn of the Dead (movie); H.P. Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulu and other novels….

Often, all the different nasties and beasties come together in the same stories…think  Underworld (movie); Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Vampire Diaries; TruBlood; this list really does go on and on…

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2 thoughts on “Dark Fantasy

  1. Interesting, though I wouldn’t have included a setting in modern times as a prerequisite. I wrote a vampire book called “Drasmyr” set in a completely different world with wizards and warriors–sort of a Dracula meets Middle-Earth–and I classified it as dark fantasy because some of the undercurrents are much darker than the normal fantasy fare.

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    • siygrah says:

      Of course Dark Fantasy does not have to be in modern times. 🙂 It’s just more common. I’ve encountered dark fantasy elements across a vast variety of fantasy subgenres. It is a very popular flavour. I say: Use it if it fits the story. 🙂

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