Saturday, October 29, 2011

Monster Envy: The Halloween Post

Perhaps I'm in the minority but I like my heroes to be accessible. I don't want to look up to some unattainable image with jealousy and be content with simply admiring someone else's ability to be. No, I want my influences to inspire me to self actualize, to be all that I can be and all that jazz.

I think that it is safe to say that in life I have taken the road less traveled and FYI Robert Frost IT HAS made all the difference. Unfortunately, the "difference" is that my life is crap. Don't get worried dear reader, this isn't a cry for help I'm just trying to articulate a point.

I used to like horror movies. Correction, I used to like the idea/thrust behind the genre of horror.  A few of the more successful horror films had at their heart genuine characters with genuine yearning and intent. In many cases  the killers had justifiable reasons for embarking on their reign of terror. Jason Voorhees lived his entire life as a deformed teased kid. One day he went to camp at Crystal Lake and ended up drowning due to the negligence of the camp councilors. Sure, maybe his mother got a little over zealous with a knife in the first installment of the series but after the plucky kids knocked her off Jason had twice the reason to grow into a beefy, immortal, goalie mask wearing killing machine.  

What about Freddy Krueger? He was the bastard child of a mother who was raped and impregnated by the inmates of a sanitarium for the criminally insane. After that he was abused, tormented and bounced around to several foster homes. Even if Freddy didn't end up killing hundreds of people it's not like he was destined to be president. 

Finally, Nosferatu/Old school vampires. Vampires of yesteryear were clammy black eyed rodent looking animals who only came out at night. Sure, vamps can't go into direct sunlight because it causes death, but methinks the original vamps refused to be seen in daylight because they were too hideous to creep out of the shadows. Vampires have no reflection in the mirror because they have no soul and are technically dead but having no reflection is also an unstated commentary on their exterior appearance. Did vampires really not appear in mirrors or did mirrors just refuse to recognize them because they were ugly?

Personally, I don't endorse killing for recreation or revenge but I do identify with the underlying themes behind the characters I mentioned. These stories are about tormented people/creatures who were never given a chance at normalcy in their lives. After a long period of unwarranted hatred and rejection they used that suffering as fuel to develop superior strength, intellect and will. They then take vengeance on a world that refused to accept them, a world who beat them down and tried to destroy them.  Besides the virgin who beats the killer in the the old horror films the rest of the people slayed are abhorrent human beings. For this reason we tend to cheer the killer on his/her quest for some twisted form of justice.

But one day that all changed. The heroic, ugly, outcast monsters who sought to neutralize the gap between the haves and have nots were staked through the heart. In their place an army of teenage heart throbs and heart throbettes took over. Vampires were no longer hideous creatures of the dark rather they were youthful athletic models destined to remain young and beautiful forever. The hunger for blood was once seen as a monstrous practice performed by a demon who forfeited his soul in order to stave off the decay of his body and the permanency of death.  Now blood is merely used as a device to heighten sexual tension and immortality is merely used as a device to reinforce the importance of youth and vanity.

In current slasher movies (spoiler alert) all of the killers are the cool kids. Killing is no longer a last resort brought upon by mental illness and an inability to fit in with the world. No! these days killing is en vogue.  Cool Trevor doesn't kill because of years of abuse he kills just because he's bored.

Mental illness, sadness, despair were the last refuge that the fringes of society had. For a while there everyone ignored the darkness within our species for the uncomfortable, inconvenient blight that it was. That was until someone realized that you can turn suffering into mystery and mystery into sexuality. Now no dark corners remain. The anti hero has become an unattainable brooding male model who has 1000 years of life experience and the power of 10 men. We no longer shudder and quake for fear of creatures that lurk in the pale moonlight. There is no sympathy remaining  in our hearts for the aching loneliness of being passed over.  Today's monsters are not something we are afraid of but something we wish we could be. When we hear a bump in the night we don't get a knife, we grab our cameras and autograph pads instead.


  1. Hi Drone, cool blog.. enjoyed the posts ..

  2. That made me think. Will take sometime to recover.
    Happy Halloween!!

  3. Agreed.
    I like my bad guys to be scary, I don't remember the last time I saw a horror film that really scared me and I think that a lot of recent films have no atmosphere either.

  4. I like the sun too much to want to be a vampire. Oh, and murdering people is a minor drawback to that whole bit.

  5. Excellent point, well articulated. I think the main article to blame is the recent shitty Mormon parable, Twilight.

    Having said that, I tend to blame Twilight for anything which is crap, unjust, or just plain awful in life.

  6. Great post...once again! The hubbie and I rented Insidious this weekend and it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Horror movies just lack these days in my opinion...or they are so blood soaked that it's hard to pay attention...just my opinion.