There are so many scary movie genres, including ghost stories, monster movies and creature features. Within those genres, there are several compelling themes: Evil versus innocence; revenge; nature gone amok, the awesome terror of the unexplored universe. I am particularly intrigued by young families who retreat from some personal tragedy to a ramshackle house on the edge of a town where the pizza boy won't deliver for reasons yet to be explained as the dog barks at shadows and blood oozes from the faucets. But what is it that makes human beings WANT to be scared? Personally, I think it is human nature to take risks, including confronting evil, imagining horror, and reaching for the unknown. Scary movies give us that adrenalin rush. They play-test our bravery. They throw fear in our face and dare us to deal with it. A really good scary movie shows us the horror of human nature and shows us something about ourselves. Like M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (2004) where a group of damaged but well-meaning people use Fear to shield their families from the horrors of the modern world, only to realize that Love is the chink in their armor. I slow watched this movie again and was brought to tears when one of the elders explained that Love rules the World, and the World is on its knees before Her. M. Night Shyamalan's movies reflect the supernatural potential of human love and the horrific consequences of the perversion of that most basic human instinct. Even his recent Apple series, The Servant (2021) explored that theme through a mother's grief, so profound it had to be denied. While you binge-watch scary movies this Halloween, think of what we as humans are truly scared of: Death, Loss and the Unknown. Our fears are universal because we are in our hearts all the same.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE SCARY MOVIES
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
THE HAUNTING (1963)
The Ruins (2008)
ATTACK OF THE 50 FT. WOMAN (1958) A FEMINIST SLEEPER