I love horror films and fiction but lately I’ve begun wondering about their portrayal of knowledge. I can’t think of any horror works which do not cause horror by increasing knowledge–in Psycho and Silence of the Lambs the climactic reveal is what’s in the basement; in The Changeling it’s in the attic; in The Shining one of the most horrifying/memorable scenes shows what’s in room 227; I thought Misery might be an exception, but the reveal there is Annie’s past as documented in her scrapbook. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre there are a couple of reveals, including the nature of the BBQ the teens have eaten and Pam’s realization that she’s taken refuge with Leatherface’s brother. In The Ring, the nature of the ring and its importance to Sadako are initially a mystery, and seeing the tape is fatal unless you spread that knowledge by endangering someone else.
Have any works managed to increase horror without revealing new information? And has anyone written compellingly about the politics/philosophy of horror in regards to knowledge (in any format–mass-market nonfiction, blogs, dissertation, whatever)?