A movie prescription for fright night

It’s that time of year again, when monsters walk about the Earth and the dead rise up to eat brains. That’s right, it’s Halloween!

So today I am going to talk to all you ghosts and ghouls about Halloween movies. What makes the scariest of scary movies so terrifying? Well, let’s talk about some of these classic movies and what makes them so terribly frightening.

  One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Freddy from “Nightmare on Elm Street” will haunt your dreams, quite literally. For those of you who do not know, Freddy is a burn victim with knives attached to his fingers who kills people in their dreams.

What makes this movie so ridiculously terrifying is that when you are in bed, under your covers, you are supposed to be safe. Going to sleep is supposed to be a pleasant and safe activity but Freddy breaks those boundaries by attacking dreams. He makes people afraid to go to sleep and creates a state of insanity. Also people are at their most vulnerable state when they go to sleep. You don’t realize what’s happening around you and your body doesn’t respond to its surroundings as much when you are dreaming your life away.

“Nightmare on Elm Street” and its follow-ups play on a human’s need to sleep and people in their most vulnerable states. It plays on the fear of, “If you die in your sleep, you die in real life.”

Another movie that will haunt you at night is “Friday the 13th.” No, this is not just a terrifying day for people who are afraid of black cats crossing their path, or walking under a ladder; this is a movie about a man in a mask who kills teenagers at summer camp. Again, camp is supposed to be a place to make friends, have fun, make smores. But now you have to worry about some guy in a mask lurking around who could kill you as you sing songs around the campfire.

The thing about Jason is the fact that no matter how many times you kill this guy, he never dies. He’s a force of eternal evil and that alone is quite terrifying. Also he goes around and kills individuals who either do drugs, drink or have premarital sex. He goes around as an eternal judge and horrifically murders those he feels have done bad things. He acts as a higher judge. Jason’s motives are far deeper than being picked on at summer camp. You’ll have to watch his back-story to understand why he is the way he is and why he is one of the most notable and horrific characters in history.

There are so many other movies I could talk about but I will just end this article by discussing “Pet Sematary.” A movie about burying animals and people in an Indian burial ground — what could possibly be so scary about that? Let me just give you this disclaimer: It is not like that episode of “Fairly Odd Parents” where Timmy’s dog gets buried in an Indian burial ground but everything turns out all right in the end!

Yes, a dog gets buried but everything goes terribly wrong. When you watch this movie, based off a novel by Stephen King (you know it’s going to be scary when it’s Stephen King), you will find the story line of the characters intensifies the scariness of any pets or humans that may come back to life.

“Pet Sematary” plays on innocence being turned to evil, the complexities of family relationships, and the eternal bond of familial love.

Now you can go and watch these spooky tales and understand the true horror of these films — what goes beyond the guts, the blood, and the spooky background music. So get a movie, get some popcorn, and get scared!

 

E-mail Bosworth at bosworth@student.uiwtx.edu

 

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