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The Real Fears That Fuel Scary-Movie Season

NPR: "For centuries, the autumn months have been associated with pagan (and Christian) celebrations of harvest and the hereafter — the Celtic tradition of Halloween, the remembrance of All Saints' Day, the Aztecs' Day of the Dead. In today's more secularized consumer society, fall is marked by the release of scary movies.

Claude Levi-Strauss wrote that myths provide a way for societies to resolve the tensions that are liveliest in the culture at a given moment. Myths and stories get passed on from one generation to the next, playing this role for each age. Horror films, too, are allegories for the social tensions and anxieties of their day: As collective nightmares, they help us unravel perceived threats to society."

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Soldierone2195d ago

I wish more directors saw this article and realized the deeper meaning behind films. I mean this article absolutely awesome and I think everyone should read it. It could be a little more in depth but it gets the point across. A good horror film has a deeper meaning that will screw with your mind when you think about it down the road. Many new film makers miss this thus the horror genre has suffered.

darklordzor2195d ago

This is a very interesting article and makes some good points...and some that I think are a bit of a stretch. I don't see Saw as an Allegory for the alleged abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. I think it's based off an person's fear of being tortured and the possibility of it happening to anyone. Unfortunately there are real serial killers out there who torture people in equally gruesome ways as those depicted on screen. Torture films draws from those real life examples.

I do agree that the best horror films (or films in general) will hold varying meanings and depths in them. That's why I don't like the Torture films, because they are nothing but shock factor films, without any great meaning behind them.

Soldierone2194d ago

I think how they used exact events as examples is the wrong idea, but you get the general idea of what they were trying to say.

For example the entire horror genre took a turn when WWII happened and everyone heard about the German camps etc...Horror was no longer ghosts and creepy guys, it was torture and being trapped. Horror lives off this. Its the thought that here your worst fear is brought to life and you could die tomorrow like this. Its getting you to think past the film and scaring you after, thus keeping you thinking, that makes you love a film.

darklordzor2194d ago

Oh I fully agree horror has made some very drastic changes since those first days, and truly the scariest things ever are the normal everyday fears people have.

I think it's interesting to note that horror is starting to have that change again, this time shifting back a little more towards monsters and the paranormal. Look at Paranormal Activity and it's success managing to get a sequel created. All of the zombie movies that keep popping up, and the remakes of horror classics (Freddie, Jason, Michael Meyers are all kinds of monsters).

Soldierone2194d ago

We had a debate in my film class as to rather or not Zombies are considered monster movies. The final conclusion was no I think.

Also take into consideration that big monster movies are trying to make a come back too. Cloverfield, JJ's new movie, Monsters, and Skyline all hitting theatres. People are even craving a Cloverfield 2.

darklordzor2193d ago

See, I'm a 'big monster' movie fan. I grew up on them, so I hold a very soft spot for them in my heart, and I'm so happy they're starting to make a comeback (and we desperately need a Cloverfield 2), but I wouldn't really consider those horror movies. I guess they are in some ways, but I never looked at them that way.

Zombies are monsters in some way (but I can see some points why they wouldn't be considered that), and their movies most definitely fit into the horror category.

Soldierone2193d ago

Yeah there was no debate on as to rather zombies fit in the genre, it was as to rather or not they are monsters. We decided its not really monsters, but something else.

darklordzor2193d ago

Yeah monsters doesn't seem to fit them, but what else would they be....mutants? But that seems like just another form of monster.

Soldierone2193d ago

It had something to do with phsycological fear. Zombies were more like secrets that people didnt know about, kinda like the camps during WWII.

Living dead and monsters are two differnt things I think.

darklordzor2193d ago

I guess it really just depends on someone's definition of a monster. I'm sure several people think zombies are monstrous and should be considered as such, but it's hard to classify. Maybe undead would be a classification all on its own; but then wouldn't vampires fit in there too?

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