From the illustrious beginnings of the horror genre to the latest movies, the above entities have gradually morphed from being nasty bad guys, to pitied souls, to friends and finally, in most cases, to great candidates for prom dates. To keep this blog from being the length of a short story, I’ll only refer to a few movies to support my point. (You gotta love Plan 9 from Outer Space though!)
Zombies staggered into our midst with a movie dating back to 1932, White Zombie. Their popularity spread like an ebola virus with movies like The Night of the Living Dead and World WarZ. But during this feeding frenzy for ghoulish zombie films, other less hard-core examples came on to the screens. Fido, and Warmbodies portrayed zombies as almost normal people. Okay, so they had rotting skin and questionable dietary needs, but their decomposing heart was in the right place.
The same shift from horror to hunk can be seen in werewolf movies. They all basically started with the very popular Werewolf of London in 1935 progressing to movies like The Howling, Wolf and eventually to the ever popular Twilight. Jacob Black, the heartthrob werewolf in Twilight caused bicepless boys to hit the gyms and girls to flock to the woods on full moons.
Now, with vampire movies, the public has had a long-standing craving for horror flicks starring the bloodthirsty baddies. The first popular vampire movie Dracula came out in 1931 (interesting trend starting to show with the 1930’s – another blog post maybe) Vampires have often been portrayed as seductive characters in movies like Underworld, Interview With a Vampire and finally once again, with Twilight. The mysterious Edward Cullen became every girl’s ideal bragging-rights boyfriend.
So, why the shift? Or is it a shift at all? IMHO, we humans have always been intrigued by the ‘untameable’ sort. Think of Tarzan, The Hulk, and Hellboy. But often the ‘untameable’ sorts don’t make the best choices for long-term relationships. My quirky mind conjures images of the above mentioned as parents in PTA meetings, on the sidelines of soccer games, or coaching little league hockey teams. Hmmm… great seeds for future stories? But I digress…
Many feel this craze goes against our beliefs as Christians. I feel that if our morals and faith are firmly in place and we remember that the stories are just that, stories, we can grab our popcorn and join the masses in the theatres.
So what’s your opinion? Is this whole fascination with bizarre and dangerous characters healthy? Why do you think we enjoy monsters?