Friday, July 25, 2008

A Meditation On Undead Slasher Films

I’ve just read, from a recent forum, about the common motif found in typical undead slasher films (“Friday the 13th”, “Halloween”, etc.). Although it could be argued, but an author of a graphic novel, involving undead slashers, theorized as to why undead slashers target the people that they target in their films. They do what they do because they possess a burning irrational hatred for the things that are denied from them due to their very nature—youth, beauty, sex, etc.

This pattern seems very obvious, because in nearly every undead slasher film, it’s almost a general rule that if people make-out, they’re guaranteed to be victims. And in many undead slasher films, young beautiful teens tend to be targets.

Whether this theory is true or not in the context of the actual films, it reflects an important truth about the real world. There are many murders and evil acts that are driven by a sense (justified or not) of injustice. The feeling of “I was robbed in my life because ______(insert reason)” or “he/she/they don’t deserve _____ because I was never given _____” is an overwhelmingly common reason that drives many people to do the wrong things that they do.

These undead villains (Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, Mike Meyers (even though he’s technically not undead)) are dark reflections of ourselves that we recoil from, yet find an odd attraction towards. In many ways, one could argue how this theme extends to the very nature of good and evil itself—where evil focuses mainly on the self above others (how I feel, the vengeance I want), while good tends to focus on others above self (for their good, to help them).

Yes, it’s true that the line between evil and good are easily blurred if one limits themselves only to the definition above (people can do evil things for the sake of others out of a twisted sense of morality or people can do good for themselves without doing evil), but if one searches for this pattern of evil being “self over others” in horror films, one could easily find it everywhere.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Seems a reasonable point all around. The various hatreds of the slashers do tend be centered around things traditionally related to life, e.g. Freddie hates children, Jason hates sex, and Michael Myers hates his family. In the various sequels they might stray somewhat from their original purpose in order to up the ante or the like, it seems to come back to the idea that the dead do indeed hate the living.

While we're on the subject, I think the creators of Halloween really should have conceded at some point that Michael wasn't human. The guy was shot, stabbed, burned, blown up, and decapitated I don't know how many times. He never spoke and was focused only on killing. I know the idea is that he's a man of pure evil, but being human carries certain things with it they never seemed to give old Mr. Myers. I think he might have been more interesting if he was human. But I guess that's not why people watch horror movies.

 

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