It’s been said that the line between horror and humour is a fine one, but why is it that the things that so terrify one generation can be so hilarious to the next? And why are so many narratives in the horror genre also full of comedy?
One theory is that, when faced with something new and unknown, we can either choose to fear it or to subjugate it through laughter. The mechanism that triggers fear of something—difference, the unexpected—is the same one that causes us to find something funny.
Another theory that goes further with this idea is the thought that humour is predominantly a technique used to create community within a certain sub-group of people, simultaneously shutting other people out of that community.
Humour is so often dying ideology (Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Declining to Decline, p. 205).