How Dark Is Too Dark?

Just where do you draw the line?

If you’ve even briefly glanced at my blog, you’ll come to the conclusion that I enjoy the genre of horror quite a bit. I’ve always been a fan to some extent, ever since I was sat down as a child to watch the Alien films, as well as the old school zombie movies such as Dawn of the Dead. My parents sure had no qualms about exposing me to the wonderful yet frightening world of on-screen monsters.

This year, however, the literature aspect really took hold; I found myself wanting to read more and more horrifying tales. The atmosphere, the characters, and the oftentimes bloody and brutal events just became increasingly thrilling. But after every book I complete, there’s a wonder of; is it possible an author can take it too far? And more importantly; what do I consider as too far?

Photo by Mitja Juraja on

Like many of my fellow horror fans, I like shocking and perhaps even exaggerated incidents happening to the poor protagonists whilst they struggle for their lives. It’s even better when the storytelling itself has quality to it, but throw in some ghastly, heinous acts and I’m there. The worse it is, the more “out there”, the more I enjoy it. Over the months I’ve came across some extremely graphic scenes throughout my book travels. I’ve witnessed a disembodied penis sneak its way into someone’s body, and kill them from the inside, a man forcing his entire head into a woman, and a woman shoving the remains of a dead child into her va-… You get the point. Some, more than others, are uncomfortable to get through, but I wouldn’t consider my personal boundary crossed… Well, the dead child thing did come close!

horror crime death psychopath
Photo by Tookapic on

My genuine interest lies in the larger community, and that means you. I want to know if you’ve ever read anything you couldn’t handle, or if in your mind you have clear cut limits. Have you ever avoided a book before because of such? Do you think it’s even possible for a writer to take it too far?

The shock factor is certainly a tool, but when does it become detrimental?

I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this little post. It’s a bit different from the usual, but I’m very interested in the conversation this topic creates!

All the best to you!

Red xx


8 Comments on “How Dark Is Too Dark?

  1. I love horror as well, and I have read some scenes that are too much even for me. I tend to associate extreme horror with certain authors. One of those for me is Ray Garton, if you’ve ever read him then you know his stuff can be somewhat upsetting😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray Garton? I’ve never read any of his books before! I’ll have to see if I recognise any. In what way, gore, sexual themes?
      Honestly the most upset I’ve ever gotten during reading was to do with animal death, hah!


      • I avoid animal cruelty at all costs! (I’m a huge animal lover) Garton writes both extremely gory and sexual scenes. I used to read him a lot but these days I just can’t stomach him😁 Check out Live Girls.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I will! I think that’s the one I remember seeing some of my GR friends reading. Vampires, right?
        And whilst I don’t actively avoid it, it does really tug on my heart strings. Like, leave the furry ones alone!


  2. Baby/child rape is my line. I know it happens IRL but I do not ever want to stumble on it unaware. Also, excessively graphic animal abuse that serves no purpose in the plot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Honestly, I think I would draw the line there as well. I can’t imagine reading through a scene like that, especially one that’s graphic about the details. There definitely should be warnings for that type of content. And yes, animal abuse tends to be one of those things not many people like reading about. It’s nice to see so many animal lovers!


  3. Certainly one to think about this post! I read a fair bit of horror and thoroughly enjoy a bit of blood n guts in my reads. But I will avoid anything with graphic animal cruelty if possible. If it seems like there’s anything lurking in the story related to this that I didn’t know about, I’ll just skim read until the scene passes. Great post! 😀👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankfully I haven’t encountered anything too bad regarding animal abuse. The most upset I’ve been is when a squirrel died in a James Herbert book. but that didn’t have anything to do with cruelty. I just got overly attached to that squirrel, haha!
      Thank you for stopping by! And owls are quite awesome. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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