What Is Social Horror? 8 Novels That Turn Horror on Its Head

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Recently, we’ve been seeing a new term make the literary rounds: social horror. We’ve seen it pop up in book descriptions and on lists for new movies to watch. But what, exactly, does this mean? 

Social horror is — unsurprisingly — a subgenre of horror itself, but it’s not fingers scratching at windows or jump scares in the woods. Or sometimes it is, but with a twist: there’s a very recognizable realness to this terror. Social horror showcases real-life societal oppression: Think Get Out or Parasite. It can highlight inequalities in the way people are treated based on race, class, and sex, and often delivers biting social commentaries. In addition to getting your pulse pounding, these titles are sure to make you think.

We’ve gathered together eight new titles that are excellent examples of the social horror genre, so get ready to dive in.