Horror Movies: Gateway to Our Dark Side

1186 WordsNov 13, 20055 Pages
I stood upon a high place And saw, below, many devils Running, leaping, And carousing in sin. One looked up, grinning, And said: "Comrade! Brother!" - "I Stood Upon a High Place" by Stephen Crane From the day we are born we begin our training to become a part of the society. Day after day we learn through a process of reward and punishment the dos and don'ts that make up the civilized world. A child that kisses his sibling is praised and stimulated with hugs and smiles, while one that punches his sibling is punished with spanks and frowns. As we grow up, our understanding of what is right and what is wrong broadens. We see the brutality of actions like murder and we see murderers as sick people. To what extent, though, are these…show more content…
However, as we go through life, society teaches us that we must learn to control these "bad" impulses and we end up denying their existence (Conger 84). This rejection of our natural tendencies causes them to be forced into our unconscious where they remain alive as part of what psychologist Carl Jung calls our shadow. As Young-Eisendrath and Dawson describe in The Cambridge Companion to Jung, the shadow is "everything we fail to recognize about ourselves" and "what a person has no wish to be" (261). The moment the word "taboo" becomes part of our vocabulary, we learn that we must reject and ignore that dark side of ourselves. When a natural impulse is repressed, silenced, and kept in the shadows, it could easily break out at any given moment (Conger 84). People need to keep feeding these impulses so that they can stay in control. This is where horror movies have their major role in society: they make it easier for people to cope with these impulses, allowing them an access to images of blood, violence, and sex. In this way, our impulses can be managed from a safe place and they can be controlled more easily. All those monsters and murderers in the horror movies represent the people's shadows, their repressed behaviors and feelings. As people watch horror movies, they unconsciously identify themselves with the monsters and murderers that appear on them. As a result, these movies allow them to release that "repressed energy",

More about Horror Movies: Gateway to Our Dark Side

Open Document