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Ambiguity of Horror Movies

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Contagious diseases, the blood sucking undead, villainous mutants, deadly parasites, body snatchers; Horror movies are all filled with common fears held by its audience and the public overall. These fears presented in horror movies are induced by actual events occurring at some point in history. In the past we don’t directly see Count Dracula, Frankenstein and Jason Voorhees attacking society but, reading between the lines, the villains in horror movies are present in the antagonists in real life. Whether it’s the representation of the nuclear war in Night of the Living Dead or societal division in The Hills Have Eyes, there is some truth in the fears present in horror movies. Horror movies throughout history reflect society; its fears, events and over all state. It’s no coincidence that after some devastating event in history happens, a strain of horror movies emerge in its path: “The fright genre has traditionally flourished in straitened times. Weimar Germany, the Great Depression and the 1970s oil crisis all coincided, not so coincidentally, with new waves of innovative, inventive nightmare visions that hold up a mirror to their eras just as much as the po-faced social-realist dramas of the day” (Billson). Horror movies thrive off the current events because it’s channeling the fears society. In the article “We’re All Dirty Harry Now”, Riegler says that “violent movie genres fed on political and social turmoil” (18), using societies fears to their advantage. Basing the horrors in horror movies off current events only frightens the audience more because it makes them feel as if these fears could come to life and attack. In the late 1960’s, Night of the Living Dead was not only terrifying to its viewers because images of the fl... ... middle of paper ... ..."What Popular Films Teach Us About Values: Locked Inside With The Rage Virus." Journal of Popular Film & Television 41.2 (2013): 61-67. Literary Reference 8 Night of the Living Dead. Dir. George A. Romero. Perf. Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea. The Walter Reade Organization, 1968. Film. Sargeant, Jack. "American Nightmare: The Baying Of Pigs: Reflections On The New American Horror Movie." Senses Of Cinema: An Online Film Journal Devoted To The Serious And Eclectic Discussion Of Cinema 15. (2001): MLA International Bibliography. Web. Sharrett, Christopher. "The Horror Film in Neoconservative Culture." Journal of Popular Film & Television 21.3 (1993): 100. America: History & Life. Web. Riegler, Thomas. "We're All Dirty Harry Now: Violent Movies for Violent Times." At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries 70. (2010): 17-41. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web.
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