((I was reading Illogically Placed Blood
, and realized we don't have a trope for gore as horror. How Did We Miss This One?
Many people find blood scary
, which makes it, and other things you'd usually like to keep in your body, ripe for scaring people with in fiction. This is a staple of the Horror Genre
. Appearing in hauntings and Survival Horrors
such as Zombie Apocalypse
stories. Blood is placed in every day locations to signify those places they used to take for granted are no longer safe, and that things are about to get serious. This can overlap with Murder Mysteries
, and Serial Killer
stories that play this for horror.
This trope is the reason why Blood-Splattered Innocents
, and Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress
are played for fear, and that fear is why Evil Is Visceral
. Blood from the Mouth
is often combined with Incurable Cough of Death
and played for fear for a person's life for similar reasons.
There's many ways gore can invoke fear:
- Supernatural gore: Common for hauntings. Blood will spontaneously start dripping and forming puddles, out of the walls, the plumbing, other architecture, or the furniture. The strangeness, and the fact that it shouldn't be there is played as horror.
- Gore signifies danger: Blood is found in a place or thing you encounter in every day life, foreshadowing someone was attacked, and that something dangerous might be lurking around that next corner. It's unnerving, and signals danger to the characters, and the audience.
- Self inflicted gore: Gore inflicted by the character themselves is played as horror. Sometimes with it turning out that they hallucinated the whole experience (but not always).
- Grotesque gory murders: A gruesome bloody murder is played as horror. This kind is most common in Murder Mysteries that play the grotesqueness, and unusual way the victim died as being horrifying. Often times to make this more scary for the audience they end up doing things like revealing the victim's internal organs, or cutting the body into parts. Or having a Serial Killer Paint the Town Red.
- Gross out gore: Blood and body parts shown to gross the audience out as well as being horrifyingly disturbing. Besides Horror it's also a pretty common to show this as symptoms or in surgeries in Medical Dramas for fear of the patient's mortality.
There's no question, psychologically why this is the case. Most people like to keep their blood inside their body, and the rest of their body intact.
Since this often can be spoilerific, and can overlap with Death Tropes spoilers are unmarked
Subtrope of Afraid of Blood
. Compare Blood-Splattered Innocents
, Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress
, And Evil Is Visceral
. Chest Burster
is a variation. Also see Blood Magic
for when blood is used for magic by ritualistic sacrifice. Contrast Bloody Hilarious
, where blood is played for Black Comedy
. Not to be confused with Gorn
which isn't intended to make people afraid, but uses gore to get the audience excited instead.
Anime and Manga
- Attack on Titan The Titans (giants) love to play with their food (humans), and will bite off people's bodies in bits spraying blood everywhere in the process. Or even just injure humans so they bleed out and leave them to die. The scariest part is that they don't even need to eat to survive. They eat humans for fun, and just throw them up later. So all the casualties in battle are pretty much killed for no reason.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Scar is a Serial Killer bent on revenge against alchemists. He can tear apart the alchemic makeup of his victims with an alchemic circle tattoo on his arm, often leaving bloody mess in his wake. The only real reason for him to kill the alchemists in such a bloody way, instead of disintegrating them completely, and leaving no evidence behind is the fear factor.
- It's pretty common place whenever Fuhrer Bradley fights for him to Paint the Town Red, as well. Also for the fear factor.
- Ed and Al's teacher Izumi coughing up blood is played for fear for her condition. It turns out the reason is because she's missing some of her organs after an attempted human transmutation.
- Rurouni Kenshin: Quite a few characters Cough Up Blood after sustaining heavy hits causing life threatening organ damage, making the other characters fear if they'll come out alive. The Animated film with Kenshin's backstory is also very fear inducing with it's high amount of bloody deaths.
- The Amityville Horror: A specific part of the wall in the Amityville House's basement starts dripping blood at night, and forming, a stream leading George to it. It's revealed later on that the basement used to have a morgue, and that people were also tortured there.
- In Italian horror films there's Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead which involves a girl who begins bleeding from the eyes. Followed by her intestines and stomach being ejected from her mouth. The effect is...disturbingly realistic.
- Ghostbusters. During the scene in the mayor's office where people are describing the weird events going on in New York City, one man says "The walls in the 53rd Precinct were bleeding."
- Indiana Jones
- In The Machinist, Christian Bale plays an anorexic insomniac who works heavy machinery. While, working at the factory, he accidentally makes a machine rip somebody's arm off. And then, he hallucinates about a man who has an equally mutilated hand, with his thumb replaced by a toe.
- There's a scene where one of the characters hallucinates ripping his face off in the bathroom, and dripping blood into the sink
- There's another scene nearing the end of the film, after rescuing the daughter the mother and the daughter come out of the ghost's world, and fall into a bathtub full of blood.
- One of the characters who moves in the haunted house of the film finds a home movie titled "House Painting" in super 8 film. The home movie shows a video of a family who used to live there being cut up, and then the walls in the hallway being painted in the family's blood.
- The advertising was pretty bloody too. With a commercial of a girl smearing blood on the walls with her hands with the film's title appearing as the blood drips on the wall.
- House being a Medical Drama often has bleeding as a symptom both to gross out veiwers, and to fear for the patients life. Whether it be from the mouth, the eyes, the nose, ears, and other places we'd rather not think about.
- Monk: In the episode Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk, a maintenance man named Bradley Foster goes down into a garbage compactor to fix a jam. After he fixes it the episode's murderer flips the circuit breaker. The garbage compactor turns on, Bradley falls into it, and is brutally ripped apart.
- Dungeons & Dragons module X2 Castle Amber. One of the castle's features is the Blood-Stained Arch. A steady patter of blood flows from the underside of the arch, with no apparent source. The blood is in atonement for all of the bloody crimes committed by the Amber family.
- Persona 3: During the Dark Hour any water/liquid in the environment turns blood red. Blood will often be puddling on the floor and dripping off the walls during animated cut scenes.
- Skull Girls
- Ms. Fortune, is a pun-loving catgirl with deep scars on her body. She fights by dismembering herself along her scars, wrapping her opponents in her own sinew and muscle, spurting her blood at high pressure, and her signature gimmick: Using her own disembodied head as a weapon.
- It's also invoked in her backstory. She got her abilities when she swallowed a stolen gem with immortality-granting properties, and was promptly butchered alive by a mafia assassin. She woke up later on the seafloor, finding her body in pieces and surrounded by the chopped-up carcasses of her friends.
- Trauma Center Series: 80% of the gampeplay consists of graphically showing blood, gore and cutting people open with knives. It received a T rating from ESRB.
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- At one point Rika commits suicide in front of Shion, by holding a knife to the wall, and slamming her neck into it. It's a lot more graphic in the anime adaptation, since it's only described in the visual novel.
- Similarly many other suicides involve the victims mysteriously scratching open their own necks with their fingers.
- In Hinamizawa there's a ghost story about an old village ritual (that's used for some of the murders) that involved the villagers disemboweling the victim as torture, and showing them their own guts on the day of the yearly festival.
- Umineko: When They Cry
- There are multiple instances of what appear to be ritualistic "magic circles" being drawn in blood.
- There's multiple cases of murders that involve bashing people's faces to so that they're so bloody, that it's impossible to recognize who it is.
- The disembowling in Higurashi makes an encore in Umineko, on the first twilight (murder) of the second arc leaving blood and guts all around the crime scene. Played for horror again since they were sitting at a party table when they were found.