Death of the Critic


"Grimdark" Storytelling

Written by: Tom Blaich


There is a widespread hate for the oft-maligned "gritty reboot" of a beloved franchise, where a director takes a well-established (and often not dark) property and propels it into a much more "realistic" world, which usually means a greyscale color palette, an actor with a five o'clock shadow, and a love of the word "fuck". Sometimes these can work out for a property, and the new direction can be a refreshing take on a familiar formula. The problem comes in with so-called "grimdark" storytelling, where the point of the story stops being the characters and becomes about how "dark" or "edgy" it can be.

Spend any significant amount of time reading fanfiction (which no one should ever do), and it is a trope that you'll become intimately familiar with> For many writers, they don't know how to make a story more mature, and as such they conflate maturity with severity, and fill their stories full of rape, torture, and gruesome murder because "it happens in the real world all the time."