Despair seems to be a strong feature of horror these days, it’s certainly a key aspect of fear, although I struggle with it personally. So many horror writers seem to head in that direction, particularly with short stories – although admittedly I don’t read too widely on these.
I think I must be too optimistic to write that kind of despair. My favourite horror is written almost as normal fiction, fleshing out happy, colourful characters with nice lives, then pulling them into the dark twists of macabre circumstance, that contrast between high enjoyment and life altering horror always pulls me in better than the despairing ennui of a life already bound by torment.
Possibly I’m just too superficial, I also enjoy action for the sake of it, cinematic special effects and such so maybe I look for horror with more punch.
Just thinking out loud.