So here we are yet again, another October is coming to a close and with it the opportunity to relish the most exciting time of the year. Its the season of hoodie weather, shit tastings like pumpkin, costuming ourselves as racial and cultural stereotypes, and binge watching horror movies for a month because its a thing people on the internet were doing…. Let’s be real, that’s bullshit. In general, our obsession to compartmentalize our months thematically is one of habits that we as a society need to work on, but, I digress. Any true blue horror fan doesn’t set aside a lone month of the year dedicated to the genre, we consume terror day in and day out. Watching characters we barely give a shit about get mauled by some psychopath, taking in the often times nightmarish imagery, and occasionally actually getting to enjoy a well made film within the genre are all experiences we welcome 12 months out of the year. NOT just this one.
There is however, another aspect of horror films we sometimes forget. Are these scenarios really that scary? Sure getting chased through the woods by an invincible madman with a machete would not great. Just like how accidentally solving a puzzle that opens a doorway to a torture dimension inhabited by demons and my incestuous, dead uncle, wouldn’t be how I would chose to spend my evenings. Now yes, I have watched a lot of horror movies this month, but I also just watch a lot of movies in general. In my rampant consumption of media I’ve stumbled across a few scenarios that actually scare me more than the run of the mill horror formula. Bare with me here, and really think objectively, then tell me why you’d still be more worried about escaped mental patients or people in animal masks trying to kill your family for their fortune.
Yep, Gone Girl. A movie I saw when it came out that still haunts me to this very moment. I wasn’t aware of this story until shortly before the film’s release but it stars our generations greatest film actor, Ben Affleck, so I had to check it out. I’ve been told the movie was based on a best selling novel, but I wouldn’t know or care because I don’t read. Let’s ponder for a moment the thematic elements that really make this move “scary”. First off, crazy people are everywhere. In today’s society we’ve allowed ourselves to be so intertwined with one another’s lives that we’re literally letting strangers peak through the curtains of our privacy on a daily basis. I know for a fact that anyone reading this has at least one or two actual crazy people, that through some circumstance they’ve become “friends” with. What’s worse is that you probably did it voluntarily. Now imagine for a second becoming romantically involved with a crazy person, and worse not knowing they’re a crazy person. Yeah not that hard right? You probably have a tinder and you really don’t know any of those people. Well Affleck married one of these people, and through the normal stresses and rigors of married life, pulled Rosamund Pike’s crazy right to the surface. Now here’s where Affleck gets lucky. He only gets framed for her murder, and eventually trapped in a loveless marriage with a pregnant psychotic. Things could have been much worse, after all Neil Patrick Harris’ character (which can only be described as Duckie from Pretty in Pink’s final form) gets his throat slit mid coitus and is then framed as a kidnapping, stalker rapist. At least Ben lived.
Let me tell you a tale about a perfect city, that exists outside our our own dimension. Where value is not placed on personal wealth or the superficial, but rather one’s ability to dream and shape a better future for all mankind. Where our best thinkers, artists, and creators have banded together t mold a society that exists as possibility for the future of all mankind. Great, now let me tell you how everything about Disney’s Tomorrowland is complete and utter bullshit, and how even the best of mankind can’t help themselves from trying to set in motion the systemic murder of their fellow man. First off, who the fuck pays for this city in another dimension where humans are free to invent, improve and progress? If I had to guess, I’d say it was billionaires. Strange because history has not known many billionaires who use their money to act in mankind’s best interest. So far I’m still on board. So what has this perfect society invented to curtail the many issues man faces in the 21st century, such as climate change, institutionalized racism, war, and starvation. Oh, you didn’t? Instead you decided to shut the whole thing down? Why is that? Ahhh ok, its because you built something that theorized that man’s destruction was inevitable, and then gave up. Cool. Oh that’s not all? What else does this machine do? It broadcasts the thought and fear of a world eventually destroying mankind if it didn’t do something to change our course. I get it, I’ve seen scared straight. Oh, but that didn’t work? So instead of scaring us straight it turned us into suicidal maniacs, so obsessed with our own demise that we romanticize it in our film and literature, all the while doing absolutely nothing to stop the inevitable? Killer. Thanks again to the one percent for wasting ninety percent of the world’s wealth on a massive suicide machine you built in a now uninhabited city in a parallel dimension. Go fuck yourselves…
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
I can’t think of a single way in which the Marvel Universe isn’t punishingly terrifying for anyone normal, red blooded human on Earth. In the real world we’re in love with the idea of superheroes. So much so that we’ve let them conquer every facet of media in our employ. Shit, superheroes have virtually kept print alive despite my generation’s attempts to murder it in cold blood. Anyway, we love superheroes mainly because we humans are mostly normal, and often shitty. However, I have real doubts about the “good” these superheroes bring to their world. The first Avengers movie, I get. Evil alien invasions generally have to stopped and when you have a team of superheroes you might as well use them. But then there’s the sequel, in which the big bad is actually a genocidal artificial intelligence created by the protagonist. Its also important to note that Ultron was an A.I. created as a means to operate an iron man police force capable of defending/policing the globe. And who came up with such a benevolent plan? Oh that’s right another fucking billionaire. Thank god for billionaires and their foolproof plans to save the world. The real issue I have with the Avengers is the insane amount of destruction they inflict on the innocent in this movie. Between Hulk getting tricked into tearing an African city down to its foundation, and their creation Ultron picking up an eastern European city only to drop it back on the Earth like a meteor, the civilian death toll had to be in the thousands if not tens of thousands. These people live in a world where seeing a super hero means that they’re about to have a terrible day, and seeing multiple superheroes means that there’s a reasonable chance that they’re living the last moments of their life.
Give me your Jasons, your Freddys, your hordes of home invading psychopaths, even your genocidal alien race bread to be perfect killers. Becuase at the end of the day, I’d prefer any reality with these monsters over the nightmare scenarios I’ve detailed above. As Halloween looms and its time to chose what terrifying films to watch this weekend, think a little outside the box and chose something truly terrifying. Perhaps Frozen….