Help us fight spam!

When Rule 34 Gets in the Way of Horror
By Yung Namahage • 3 months ago

So I've been following this Canadian artist for a while named Trevor Henderson. You might have seen a couple of his works around the internet and with good reason: they're legit unsettling. His paintings are usually a blurry found footage style shot of monsters straight out of a Zdzisław Beksiński piece but in an everyday location, like you just snuck up to it and managed to catch it on camera. Or maybe it snuck up to you?

I'm here to talk about one of his creations in particular, one that no doubt some of you may recognise even if haven't heard of the artist before. This is the being known as Siren Head.

A towering, slender humanoid with two sirens for heads. Creepy, right? It's been featured in a couple of Henderson's works, and its popularity's even spawned a ton of fanart, mods for existing video games and even video games centered around Siren Head.

All in all, the Siren Head phenomenon reminds me of what we experienced about a decade ago with Slenderman. Someone creates an image featuring a strange being that goes viral, people start creating fan works featuring said being that serve to increase its popularity, others start to offer their own lore interpretations and creepypastas about the creature and its origins until it becomes a piece of internet folklore. Then comes the inevitable memes and lewds that focus more on the viral aspect of the phenomenon as opposed to its roots in horror until people stop taking it seriously and move on to the next trend. Then, a couple years after the hype dies down, a major movie studio releases a generic movie loosely based on the being and misses the point entirely. Siren Head is currently at the memes and lewds stage.

Longtime readers will probably know that I'm generally a fan of the internet's infamous 34th rule, but something about Siren Head lewds don't rub me the right way. And that's coming from a guy with a huge monster kink. For starters, I don't think this is what Henderson was expecting when he first came up with that creature. I do some art direction/design and writing myself and while I do have characters I'd love to see lewded by strangers on the internet, there are some who I'd prefer to keep safe from lustful eyes. But hey, no exceptions, the internet can and will lewd everything so I wouldn't be too surprised if I found out someone drew one of my more wholesome characters in an unwholesome way. 

Another thing that annoys me is something I alluded to earlier: can you really find Siren Head creepy anymore after you've seen sexualised fanart of it? A lot of horror, especially in Henderson's works, is rooted in the fear of the unknown. This thing is scary because you've never seen anything like it before, it's uncanny. To see it naked or having sex puts it in a natural context, familiarising it and removing the mystery. It's just another body getting fucked, only with sirens for heads. Similarly, Henderson refers to Siren Head using "it" pronouns, implying a lack of gender. Its skeletal body is androgynous, adding to the unnaturalness. Slapping a dick or tits on it makes it more natural. Would a legendary horror figure like Jason Voorhees still be scary with his cock hanging out of his jumpsuit? Or would Freddy Kreuger still haunt people's dreams if he had huge knockers?

Honestly, I was just looking for an excuse to post this image of Robert Englund with a waifufied version of his iconic character

So in a nutshell, I'm not against the idea of Siren Head lewds, but I think they undermine the mystique and the sense of foreboding the character originally had. But what do you guys think? Would you fuck Siren Head? Do you think R34 can get in the way of horror? Drop your thoughts below!