One of the articles assigned for you to read this week features the ideas of Leo Braudy, a noted English literature professor who has published widely on ghosts and monsters. In a recent study, Braudy outlines four major types of monsters: 1) The “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. 2) Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power. 3) The “Jeckyll and Hyde monster,” doppelganger figures that represent the ways that many people live double lives, or have more than one “true” self. 4) Monsters (especially those that somehow return from the past) that serve to interrupt our modern developments and changes. For part one of your blogpost, I’d like you to discuss how a monster you viewed during your filmwork for this week fits within one of Braudy’s four over-arching categories. Whether you choose a creature from a horror film or a “classic” monster movie, I’d like to explore how/why your chosen monster fits into one of these categories and thus works to “indulge our fears and desires” (to quote Braudy).
It is sad to say, but this will be your final blogpost of the semester. Therefore, I thought this would be a good opportunity to make some final connections and draw some over-arching conclusions about your work this spring. So, for part two, I’d like you, again, to discuss a specific movie monster you screened in preparing for class this week – but preferably a different beast than you considered in part one. For this section, I’d simply like you to connect your monster to certain creatures, themes, and ideas we have covered previously this semester, and see what broad conclusions you can draw about movie monsters through these connections. Since this is your last blogpost of the semester, how does your selected cinematic beast tie into some of the key ideas of the course, and what overall conclusions does it point to with regards to monsters and monstrosity? That is the question I would like you to answer here.
For the first part of my blog post I am going to talk about the movie Halloween, which was directed by John Carpenter. In this movie, you see a young Michael Myers kill his sister and someone who is assumed to be her boyfriend. The movie then flashes forward a few years showing him escaping from prison. That is when true fear sets in, knowing a crazy killer is out on the lose again to kill the people of this town. He then goes on a full rampage, killing many of the babysitters in the town, and especially stalking one girl in particular named Laurie, played by a young Jaime Lee Curtis. I chose this movie to write about because in the end Michael is shot and pushed out a window of a two-story house onto the ground, presumably dead. When the doctor looks out the window to make sure he is, Michael is gone. The end of the movie shows that Michael is not dead, putting forth that there must be another movie to follow, with what will probably be more killings. He interrupts the people of this town when he first returns back to the town of Haddonfield, putting a stop to their normal, everyday lives and ruining families.
For the second part of my blog post I am going to talk about the first movie that I watched, “The Phantom of the Opera.” This movie was not what I thought it would be at all. He was no phantom at all, but only someone who lived in the deep, dark, depths of the opera house. Before that, he was part of a traveling circus and had been caged up and was called the “devils son” because of his deformed face. He became obsessed with one of the opera singers, named Christine Daaé, and his love for her turned ugly. I would relate this movie to “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” because Quasimodo, like Erik (The Phantom), was only a monster because of their looks. Quasimodo also developed this type of infatuation for La Esmeralda in the fact that he did not want her to ever leave him for anyone else and he wanted to keep her hostage in his Cathedral. These characters remind me a lot of each other because they are both misunderstood by people because of the way they look. In conclusion, I would add that some monsters do not even have “monstrous qualities”. The only thing that makes them a “monster” is their outside features, nothing is said about who they are inside and what good they may be capable of. People judge so much on what is on the outside, but in reality, it is what is on the inside that counts the most.
A monster that I found to match very well with one of Braundy’s categories was Freddy Krueger in relations to his fourth topic “monsters (especially those that somehow return from the past) that serve to interrupt our modern developments and changes. Now, I have seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies including Freddy vs. Jason but I want to specifically zone in on the 2010 version of Nightmare on Elm Street. In this particular version of the film the teenagers start to die one by one until they realize that they are all having the same dreams and connect that the dreams are trying to lead them somewhere and show them something specific. After some investigation some teens discover that all the kids who are having the dreams and dying off went to the same elementary and learn that the school gardener was being a little too friendly with the kids. The parents acted and got rid of Freddy in a very brutal way. This was the root of the dreams. Freddy was not mad that the kids told, but rather that they told the truth to their parents. This problem caused Freddy to come to the teens again to surface their repressed memories and remember Freddy, his name and what he did to and for the children and to bring their parents pain just like the parents brought pain to him. Freddy came back into their lives after years of feeling free and forgetting about the incident to disrupt and interrupt the teens change of scenery in high school and their development through life as they embark on the journey from kid to adult.
For the second part of this blogpost I am going to address the creature from the black lagoon. He can relate to many sea monsters that we have learned about because he is completely unknown and unheard of with no information about what he is or where he came from. He can also relate to the Lochness monster because they both have big eyes and are both relatively large, lochy being much larger than the creature. But both are unseen and unheard of. Their stories differ in many ways, but both have similar features and instill much fear in those around them just by the thought of encountering them.
Both beast tie into the course because they are still to this day feared by many and questioned by many about either what exactly it is that they are, why they do the monstrous things they do or where they came from to begin with. The idea of monsters and monstrosity is still very tricky in my opinion. It leaves us with a sense of terror and wanting more. They come in all different sizes and feed our appetite for horror and adrenaline. There are many forms of monstrosity and as time goes on I think that serves a huge role in monstrosity. Each generations monster is different. In the beginning of the monster time they were “made up” monsters that lived in areas that were unexplored. It then moved to monsters that had similar traits to humans and the humans itself and from there we have evolved in what a monster is and can do. the film industry in constantly feeding us with new monsters and new ways to be frightened and feel that “rush.” It is all about now what will give us the biggest jump of fear and what will keep us up the longest at night time afraid of the unknown, what our dreams will unfold and if there really is something hiding under my bed.
I connected the movie phantom of the opera with Braudy’s idea of the Jekyll and Hyde monster, figures that represent ways many people live doubles lives or have more than one true self. In the beginning of the movie, the phantom was a regular man who wrote music. He only wanted his music read and played in the opera. When he learned his music got stolen and used, he got angry and strangled the man who w a supposed to read his music. After he killed the man and got acid thrown in his face, he ran away. Throughout the movie he sabotaged and killed people who were in the opera. This character relates to the Jekyll and Hyde idea because no one knew who was doing these killings, also towards the end he was hidden in plain sight. It is a question though if the phantom always had the murderous streak in him or did it appear after he strangled the first man.
The blob represents the fear of the unknown science world. We as humans have a deep interest in other life forms such as aliens that may or may not exist. With the help of movies and show we use our imagination about what creatures may be living around us. We are fearful of people and places that are different or not “normal” to our society but we are also fascinated by how far we have gotten in science and how much we have discovered. Monsters are repulsive but appealing to us at the same time.
“Gill Man’ from Creature from the Black Lagoon is definitely a “creature of nature”, one of Leo Braudy’s types of monsters theory. Gill Man is an amphibious creature who is capable of breathing in and out of water. He had human like features but was mostly amphibian. He shows our fear of losing control of the natural world by how frightened he made the group of scientists. When the fossil of a creature like Gill Man was found, the scientists were very intrigued of what could have once lived in the Amazon. But then, when they found Gill Man’s claw in their fishing net, realizing there was a living creature inhabiting the lagoon, they were automatically freaked out and interested in only capturing him in order to dissect and study. This shows that humans constantly need to feel as if they know everything and that what we don’t know, scares us.
For this second part, I am going to compare Jason from Friday the 13th to the “freak show monsters” we studied previously. Jason Voorhees is the hockey mask wearing, machete wielding serial killer in the chronicles of the Friday the 13th movies. Jason wears the mask to hide his deformed face (he was born with Hydrocephalus, an abnormally large head, and mental disabilities). These abnormalities caused him to be bullied growing up and pretty much isolated from the world, besides from his mother, who is arguably the driving force behind his killings. Jason relates to the freak shows because of his physical and mental deformities and how misunderstood he is by society. He was deemed a freak growing up, (partially) leading him to perform the monstrous acts he did. Jason relating to “freaks” in “freak shows” shows that there is always a deeper meaning behind the creatures who we deem “monstrous”.
The 1931 classic horror movie Frankenstein was based on a book of the same name by Mary Shelly. The novel explored the growing anxiety surrounding medicine; particularly anxiety around surgeries. The novel does this through the monster and so does the movie. The monster is a compilation of dead body parts and uses electricity to reanimate the reconstructed human. The one major difference between the novel and the classic movie is the intelligence of the monster. In the novel, the monster starts out as an unintelligent creature and ends the novel with a high almost genius intelligence. In the movie, the monster has no intelligence throughout. I believe that this is largely due to the fact that he has the brain of a criminal. The movie makes it a point to give the audience this information. It is a trend in medical fiction and monster movies, to a certain extent, to give severed body parts agency that infects the host body.
After having watched the 1978 horror film Halloween it is easy to see how traditional monster tropes and ideas have evolved to scare a modern world. I feel that Michael Myers is the monster within us all. He starts his killing spree as a child who murdered his babysitter. The fact that a child, the embodiment of innocence, has the potential kill reflects the possibility of a monster within us all. The fact that Myers kills his babysitter brings up another trope reimagined for a modern audience; the monster as a boundary. Myers only kills the babysitter after she had sex with her boyfriend. Later in the film, he also kills teenagers who were about to have sex or have had sex. The only one left standing is the Laurie (the only teenager in the film to not have sex). This movie shows that the ideas we have talked about in class still have never gone away but have evolved.
In the movie saw two men are being held captive in an old run down bathroom they are given a choice. One man Adam is advised via cassette tape to escape the bathroom while Lawrence’s tape tells him to kill Adam by six o’clock or his family will be killed. Another choice they have to make is do they saw off their limbs to escape the chains binding them or do they die in this dirty bathroom where they may never be found. This paints perfectly losing control over their natural world and their fate is left up to them and the following decisions they need to make over the next several hours or they’ll both die. Having to decide between an innocent stranger’s life verse your close loved ones is a difficult choice to make, and one I hope no one ever has to make.
In the movie ‘The Shinning’ Jack Torrence and his family move to an isolated hotel where he has taken on the caretaker position to get away from the world while he is writing a book. However things go south when they begin to find out the haunting past of the hotel and paranormal things start to happen and make Jack go insane. He begins to attack his family and does everything he can to murder them. This reflects that monsters and demons are always inside of us but only certain circumstances and maybe even certain people can bring them out. Granted there are paranormal forces working against him and his mind to alter his normal decision making.
For part one of the blog post, I am going to do how the dawn of the dead connects to Braudy first major on monsters. That the monster from nature which reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. This statement he makes relates to the horror movie dawn of the dead. Because it’s the zombie apocalypse, the world is basically over and done with. Everyone who has survived the apocalypse and not has been bitten yet, are scared that the world is over and never go back to the way it was. Also by coping with this fear the survivors fight their way through the zombies and try to defeat them all. Or they talk about the old days and what they did before the apocalypse. This idea also shows in the AMC show The Walking Dead where people are scared of what their world is going to come to. And if it is going to go back to the way it was or if it’s gonna be taken over by the dead.
For part two of the blog post, we talked about this semester seeing things from the monster point of view and how they would view their story. How the classic movie the Phantom of the Opera and the monster in that movie the Phantom fits into all of this. Is by the Phantom in the film is viewed as this ghost who hides in the shadows and does horrible and evil things to the Opera house. But from his point of view, he would say he doesn’t want to show his face because of the way he looks, and he doesn’t want his love Christine to see him. Also, he does horrible things to the people in the Opera house because they are in his home. I would do the same thing if a bunch of people invaded the place where I lived and started to change it around. So I can see from his point of view about why he does the things that he does. Like taking Christine because he loves her so much and terrorizing the people because they showed up unannounced to his home.
I decided to watch was Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Krueger related to the second option “the monster from nature that reflects our fear of losing control over the natural world.” Freddy Krueger feeds off of other’s fears and enters their dreams. The victims lose control over the natural world because when that person victim has a nightmare with Krueger they enter his world. Krueger is capable of doing anything in the nightmare and if they die in their dream they die in real life. The victim has absolutely no control over what happens.
For my second area of discussion I will be talking about Frankenstein. The monster from Frankenstein is created, but everything goes wrong. It goes on a rampage harming others and tormenting his creator Victor. The monster is isolated from everything as everyone fears it. The monster requests a female companion to have so he has something to love. The monster’s experience is similar to Grendel as they are both isolated from society. This monster represents monstrosity through its ugly appearance and horrific actions throughout the story. It draws fear throughout society and in the end it suffers a tragic ending. The monster is different from everyone else and is rejected by others.
In the movie “Dawn of the Dead,” the zombies would be considered as “monsters from nature” which Leo Braudy describes as the monster of nature who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. In the world is struck by a plague which turns deceased human beings into zombies. The government tried to take control of the situation at first and do everything they can to try to stop this plague, but eventually, all of society just collapses with few survivors. For any of the survivors that are left, they search for refuge and just try to survive this epidemic. The world has lost complete control of the natural world and no matter what they did, there was no way for them to stop it and mostly everyone died because of it.
In “King Kong,” King Kong is a monster in appearance, but he isn’t really a monster with his actions. He was never bothering anyone in the beginning, people just wanted to hunt him and capture him to put him on display so that they could make a lot of money. He was unfairly taken away from his home and chained up to be put on display. He broke free because a bunch of people were taking pictures of him and the flashing lights upset him. He had reasoning for his actions. He was just misunderstood which is one of the main traits of being a monster. No one understood him and he didn’t understand the humans either. Perhaps he wouldn’t have harmed other people if they had just left him alone in the first place or if they tried to understand his nature.
From the list of movies we could watch this week I chose to watch the 1943 version of “Phantom of the Opera”. The Phantom, Erique Claudin is considered the monster in this film. Comparing Claudin to he four major types of monsters defined by Leo Braudy, I believe the Phantom falls into the “Jekyll and Hyde” category. In the beginning of the movie we see a very nurturing, kind old man named Claudin. He plays violin in the opera orchestra, and cares deeply about the success of one of the actresses, Christine. However, once Claudin finds out the concerto he wrote was stolen it’s like he becomes a completely different person. He murders a worker at the publisher’s place and gets acid thrown onto his face. This in a way reveals his “true” self. He becomes even more violent and takes extreme measures to keep Christine as the lead in the opera (these circumstances include murder and dropping chandeliers into the audience). It is also notable that this character goes from being addressed as Erique Claudin, to the Phantom of the Opera. Once he makes that crossover he no longer is considered human, only a monster.
The second horror movie I chose to watch was “Saw”. In this film, some mysterious psychopath leaves tape recordings for certain people, giving them an insane task to complete in order to survive. Some of these tasks included digging a key out of a live man’s stomach, crawling through a large amount of razor-sharp barbwire, and even finding the code to a safe that held an antidote to the poison running through a person’s system. The movie follows mainly two men, Adam and Lawrence, and their journey to escape this disgusting, horrid room. The only way to escape is if Lawrence kills Adam. The most important thing to note about this movie (spoilers ahead) is that the mysterious psychopath is revealed at the very last minute of the movie and escapes. It is revealed that a former patient of Lawrence’s, John, was behind everything. This relates to class because almost every monster we’ve covered is non-human. In this case, the monster is all human, very much like us, and also the last person we’d expect to be the killer. For a majority of the movie we are led to believe the killer is one person and suddenly our world is turned upside down when we are deceived. This gives the audience not only a shocked feeling, but also the fear that anyone could be a killer and we may never even suspect them.
For the first part I would like to analyze Nightmare On Elm Street. Freddy Krueger enters the dreams of innocent people, learns their deepest fears and terrorizes them. I think this relates to #2 the monster from nature that reflects our fear of losing control over the natural world. In the movie, when Krueger kills a victim in their dream they die in real life. They are unable to do anything to stop him. I think this can also be related to our fear of sleep paralysis, a phenomenon that consists of hallucinations that can occur when your mind wakes up before you body and you are unable to move even though you are fully conscious. People describe seeing and hearing paranormal things but being unable to do anything about it, sort of like with Freddy Krueger.
For the second part of my blog post I would like to discuss both Frankenstein and Quasimodo. Both have been isolated based on physical differences. Frankenstein is created and immediately abandoned by his “father”. Quasimodo is born deformed and shunned by his village. Neither one shows any true signs of being evil yet they are ostracized for reasons that they cannot control. Neither one asked to be born (or created) they way that they were. I think this relates to our discussions in class about how something doesn’t necessarily have to be a monster to be considered a monster. It makes us rethink the actual definition of a monster and whether we consider it to be a physical or a mental thing.
For Tuesday’s class, I choose to watch the cinematic classic “The Mummy.” As one can likely assume, the monster in this movie was mummy who was brought back to life after 3,000 years and proceeded to wreak havoc in the modern world while trying to resurrect his lost love. It is fairly clear that the mummy would fall into the fourth category belonging to monsters who attempt to disrupt our modern development and changes. In a way, the mummy itself represents the past. After all, he is from 3,000 years in the past. By digging up the mummy and opening a forbidden box, the archaeologists bring the wrath of the mummy upon themselves. This could represent the moral dilemmas that often come with this type of work. Is it morally right to disturb the final resting place of those who lived long ago? The mummy uses ancient magic and a long-since forgotten language to terrorize the protagonists. The overpowering of these ancient methods may reveal a reluctance to move on from the past. As a society, we have all but abandoned many of our ancient customs, and even continue to change and develop with each passing decade. Is moving on from the past a good thing? Or should we remain in our current ways? These are a few of the questions that the mummy raises.
During our brief view of the Blob monster from the film “The Blob” during Tuesday’s class, I noticed that this monster was very unusual. In terms of appearance, it beared no resemblance to a human being, as is usually the case since monsters are often a reflection of our darkest fears and desires. Instead, the blob was just that: a blob. WHat, then, does the blob represent? Well, the blob comes from a meteorite from outer space. Therefore, I believe the main thing the blob represents is a fear of the “other.” This is a theme we saw very frequently early on in the semester when looking at the different “natural monsters” observed by Pliny the Elder. If we take the blob literally, it represents a fear of the other where the other is actually aliens. We often fear aliens because we fear that they will be more powerful than us. We are afraid that aliens will come to our planet and kill us all, which is the main threat in not only the blob, but countless other science fiction thrillers. However, if we view the blob more as a symbol than a literal alien, it may represent a few other fears. The first may be a fear of scientific development. It is clear that the blob appears to be a synthetic being. With nuclear warfare and radiation poisoning constantly on the mind of Americans, the blob may represent the possible dangerous outcome of science going too far, like in Frankenstein. Speaking of nuclear warfare, the blob could also represent America’s fear of the Soviet Union. The movie was released in the midst of the Cold War, where a nuclear attack from the Soviets was always in the back of the minds of millions of Americans. This “other” blob coming to our country and wreaking scientific havoc may be a symbolic representation of what would happen if the Soviets attacked.
For the first part of my blog post I am going to discuss the classic film, “Wolf Man” and how the monster connects with the “Jekyll and Hyde” monster. Werewolves are a perfect example of a double life, where the man is kind but the beast is vicious. This demonstrates how a normal man can become an evil monster under the right conditions. In this film, the “condition” that made him become a monster was getting bit by a werewolf. In other films however, the conditions could be less obvious or even open to interpretation such as the other film I watched, “The Shining”. This could also portray a “Jekyll and Hyde” character through Jack, the man who seems to have a second side to him hellbent on killing his family.
Both of these monsters share similarities and connections with the other monsters we have learned about this semester. In “Wolf Man” the audience gains empathy for the monster, similar to some monsters in Gothic horror. The werewolf does not want to turn into a beast, but by no fault of his own he transforms. This film shows the audience the beast’s perspective, and that helps you to connect with the monster in a different way. Again, a similar thing can be seen in “The Shining”, where Jack is tormented by seemingly paranormal entities that force him to attack his own family. The beginning of the movie shows Jack as a caring husband, but through what seems like no fault of his own he starts having murderous thoughts. I think a point both of these films are trying to portray is man’s ability to do terrible things. In an early film like “Wolf Man”, they had low quality filming technology but still managed to show a similar message as the 1980 film “The Shining”. In this class we have learned that many monsters throughout history are meant to teach us similar things, albeit through different ways that best connects with the audience of that time.
The iconic horror movie classic that I would like to focus on is the renowned Exorcist movie. A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother’s terminal sickness. And towards the end, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy. I would like to connect this monster as a category 3 and 4 monster. Reagan, after attempting to speak to her imaginary friend through a Ouija board, becomes possessed by an evil demon. The demon pushes Reagan to act out of character, from stealing and swearing to making strange noises and exhibiting phenomenal strength. This particular monster plays with our idea of fear in a far greater way than vampires or werewolves. Exorcism happen around the world as a practice for casting out demons from possessed victims. Because this is considered an actual activity, its more than likely to happen to any one of us. The reliability and the fear of the unknown, trigger unwanted feeling of terror.
For the final portion of this assignment, Id like to focus on Frankenstein falling under the category of the fear of the unknown. Just like Quasimodo, people fear what they can not understand. All Frankenstein wanted to do was experience love and affection. He was exiled for his outer ward appearance instead of what mattered on the inside. Society tends to do this more commonly than not. We have to become better at seeing people who they really are and not judge a book by its cover.
Leo Brady’s four types of monsters can help us examine how these creatures work to “indulge our fears and desires”. His first type is the “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. I would like to make the connection from this theme to the monster from “The Blob”. The blob is a monster from some sort of alien planet, being that it fell from outer space and once it landed, it began its consumption of humans. It was not created on earth and it is a foreign being that we don’t know how to destroy. The fear of the blob is that it can’t be killed but only controlled by the cold. Even by coming up with the solution to put the blob in Antartica, we are not sure that this will defeat the monster. This monster has no permanent shape and therefore, you cannot hide from it as it is able to squeeze through and ultimately consume you. The idea that a being from outer space can cause such havoc on our society, brings us to acknowledge the notion that we are susceptible to attacks from other beings. We now are not only in fear of our own people but those from other planets as well.
For the second part of my blog post, I would like to talk about Michael Myers from the movie Halloween. The idea of monsters and monstrosity, taps into the fears society has about themselves and the world. The movies and stories that evoke the most fear are ones that strip us of the safe world we have constructed for ourselves. Michael Myers while still being human, is an emotionless killing machine. The idea that he is human is important because it evokes the fear that his actions could be replicated by those around us, or even ourselves. Throughout his killing and stalking spree, Michael wears a white mask that doesn’t show any features. This feature allows us to project our own fears and anxieties into his person. The fear of the unknown, the fear that someone is watching you is a common anxiety within humans. Michael Myers is able to evoke that fear as he doesn’t make sound and the majority of his victims did not know he was there when he killed them. The fact that he went into people’s homes and that is where he hurt them is a striking fear for many. We have the notion that our homes are a safe space where nothing bad can happen. Instead, we don’t wander into his territory, be he will find us.
The first monster is the creature from the black lagoon or as he is refered to in the movie “The Creature” (and one time Gillman). He is easy to classify as he is a creature of nature. This is because he was not made by man or was once man. He also acts as a way to remind human’s that there are still mysterious in nature and that we are not in control of nature.
The second monster is the demon from The Exorsist. This one is an odd mix of type 3 and 4. The reason for this is because while it is a beast from the past the fact that it takes control of a innocent little girl makes the actions of the demon that more scary. Its the idea that this could happen to anyone even some one the audience might know.
Leo Braudy categorizes monsters into four different categories that describe what those monsters reflect of the cultural fears and anxieties of the time period they were made in. One of his categories reflects the monsters of the past that arrive to take revenge on our modern day improvement and progress. John Carpenter’s movie, Halloween, is about a little boy named Michael that kills his sister and is then sent away to a psychiatric hospital. Years later he escapes the sanitarium and returns to his hometown to find his next victims. Michael targets the teenage babysitters of his hometown that ditch their responsibilities to be with their significant other. Michael Myers fits into Braudy’s category because he comes back to his hometown to finish what he started. He is taking revenge on the rebellions, typically teenage girls, that neglect their responsibilities of being a babysitter to be promiscuous, just like his sister did to him. This movie reflects the cultural attitudes of the 70s being the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” era, the normalcy of having teenage babysitters and the cultural fears of the dangers of being neglectful and promiscuous, especially during this progressive era.
The monsters we have studied throughout this semester have reflected different themes and ideas that pertain to different cultural climates. Many of the monsters that we have studied have been deemed “monstrous” because they look different than us and are seen as hideous. Frankenstein’s creation is an example of this type of monstrosity. This creation was a scientific breakthrough as he was sewn together from dead body parts and then came alive. After he came alive, it was obvious how different and scary looking he was. He was abnormally tall, he did not know how to speak and he was sewn together. He learned very quickly that anyone that looked at him was immediately scared, as we saw with Frankenstein after the creation came alive. Other monsters we studied that fit into this theme are Quasimodo, and even Medusa. Quasimodo was crowned the Pope of the Fools, meaning he was the scariest and ugliest person in the town. Medusa, although she was once beautiful, she was turned into an ugly snake haired monster that turned anyone to stone that made eye contact with her.
For part one of the blog post i will be discussing one of the four ideas of Leo Braudy, a noted English literature professor who has published widely on ghosts and monsters. In a recent study, Braudy outlines four major types of monsters. I will be focusing in on his first and second type of monster. The first being The “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. The second being the monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power. The one monster that i can connect to both of these types is the creature from the black lagoon. He fits both descriptions because he is being tracked down by scientist to gain intelligence making them concerned that they do not know everything about life on this planet. The creature is placed in nature and fits the fist part of the authors descriptions of monsters.
For the second part of the blog post i will be discussing a monster from our screenings in class. Jason from “Friday the Thirteenth” is my choice and he is a psychopathic serial killer who hid’s his face from everyone because of the destruction that lies beneath. Jason can be related to all monsters because he seems different because he wears a ski mask to hid his odd and unusual physical qualities. Most monsters we discussed throughout this class were unusual and had abnormal physical traits just like Jason.These strange physical traits caused Jason to be bullied growing up and pretty much isolated from the world, besides from his mother, who is debatably the main reason behind Jason’s killings.
This first moving I watched was dawn of the dead. this was a 1980’s version which several people escaped zombies by hiding inside mall and began living in there. everything was fine until zombies found a way into the mall and began attacking the humans. They escaped by flying a helicopter off the top of the mall to a safe location.
The second was nightmare on elm street. In this movie the monster, Freddy, would come to life in high schoolers dreams. the only thing was, they didn’t know that the parents had actually caused the evil events that would enter your dreams.
For the first part of my blog post I am going to talk about a monster and a movie that actually gave me quite a scare. Freddy Krueger from The Nightmare on Elm Street, to me was one of the scariest monsters I have ever seen. I choose Freddy Krueger, not only because he is one of the scariest but because he was the first monster that came to mind when I was reading Leo Braudy’s different categories. I think Freddy Krueger is the best to talk about because not only does he fall into one, but two categories of Braudy. The first one he would fall under would be category 1. The “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. Freddy does all of killings when the teens are sleeping, sleep is what gives him his power. Freddy is unable to come to the real world to commit his murders so when they are asleep that opens a gate for him to purge. The second category that Freddy would fall under would be category 4. Monsters (especially those that somehow return from the past) that serve to interrupt our modern developments and changes. Freddy is over all a monster but how he went out of this world was also very monstrous. Freddy used to be a janitor at the school, and as he worked at the school he would molest the little boys and girls that used to attend the school. Once the parents found out about what happened they killed Freddy by burning him to death. Freddy returns from the past but returns in the nightmares of the children whose parents had killed him.
For the second part of my blog post I am going to talk about Frankenstein. One of the topics that I found really interesting this semester would be “Freak Show Monsters”. To compare Frankenstein to this topic would be his physical appearance and Frankenstein not being able to be accepted in society. The freaks that were disgusted during this topic didn’t feel loved by society, they felt as if they were the outcasts and that they weren’t capable of love. Frankenstein feels the same way, when he sees the people and how they’re happy, and how they look normal, he wants that. Frankenstein was also brought into this world by man instead of woman and was created instead of birthed. I have sympathy for Frankenstein and the freaks. Yes, I know Frankenstein is a monster and a murderer but he didn’t ask to be brought into this world, and he didn’t ask to look differently than others.
For the first part of my blog post, I would like to discuss how the original movie of Frankenstein connects to one of Braudy’s over-arching categories. Frankenstein explores the second type of monster: “Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power.” This story describes this statement because the scientists who invented his own beast did not take responsibility and care for his creation. This creation developed into a dangerous threat to humanity, which raises several concerns in regards to science exploration and experimentation. Most essentially, this is why we have mad scientist because some scientist cannot be taken accountable for once they have created something. Some scientist value power and the ability to control their creations, and that is why Braudy’s study raises some worries. For those that are full of themselves, they only want to do what they desire, and that is what we need to acknowledge because it reflects who we are as a society.
For the second part of my blog post, I would like to connect the movie Dracula with the lessons we did on vampires. Dracula is a direct descended of a vampire and if he bites a person more than once, then they become a vampire as well. However, if he bites them once and sucks their blood, then they die. This concept connects to the idea of Braudy’s first type of monster: “The “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world.” This perception details our anxieties about not being able to act humanely in our natural form. I believe that eventually, we are going to have to face the end of the world, and I’m not saying that we will go in that form, but one way or another, we have to maintain control over humanity. Dracula ultimately ties into the key ideas of the course because it challenges our views and perceptions of how we view a monster. In addition, these questionable topics make us want to consider if it’s the physical characteristics that make a monster scary or bad, or if it’s the wicked qualities that a creature has that makes it a fiend.
The movie that I watched that contains the ideas of Leo Braudy is Frankenstein. The monster that Victor created in the film could fit into the category of “Jeckyll and Hyde Monster.” The monster that was created in this movie had different body parts stitched together to bring back life from a dead person. The creator, Victor Frankenstein brought the monster to life by electrocuting him. He didn’t know if he brought the human back to life that it would turn out to be a monster and killer. The movie shows that the creator brought back a human life and that links to Braudy’s idea when Victor Frankenstein brings the monster to life.
King Kong is monster that connects to different ideas that we have discussed this semester. King Kong connects to different themes of fear. It is very clear that the enormous ape turns out to be a monster from his actions of killing people. He does this when he was captured and put on a stage for people to see him in person. Once the curtain was drawn, people were immediately scared by his appearance. In addition, when he escaped from the chains that were locked onto him, he went on a killing spree, taking out a whole bunch of people who were in the theatre and out in the streets. After that happened, many people who just seen the monster or heard of him had a lot of fear and were terrified of King Kong.
To prepare for class on Tuesday, the film I chose to watch was The Creature from the Black Lagoon. In this film, the main monster is obviously a creature from the black lagoon, but more specifically he is named the”Gillman” that they come across in a lagoon in the deep Amazon. In the movie, a group of geologists come across a fossil of a skeletal hand (very human-like) that also has webbed fingers. With this discovery, the group goes on a hunt to find this creature, and they end up coming across the Gillman. If I sit back and think about it, the Gillman would be classified as a “monster from nature”. When the group of geologists discover this fossil, they are curious and somewhat afraid of what this creature is, and how it may have evolved over time. This leads to this back and forth chase of the group trying to hunt and trap the Gillman for science purposes so that they can experiment and test on him, and the Gillman killing off members and chasing after his love, Kay. The group wants to capture this creature to gain more knowledge, as we humans crave control and total knowledge of the world around us.
For my second part of the question, I would like to discuss modern monsters in recent films such as Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, Scream, etc, when the monsters and murders all have a common theme. In all of these films, the monster is wearing a mask. You never are sure of their true identity, which makes it all the more scary. This person behind the mask could be anybody, some random stranger who you unfortunately came in contact with. However, the person behind the mask could also be somebody that you know, coworker, friend, maybe even lover. The unknown factor is what can really increase the scare factor, because it reinforces that the monster could be absolutely anybody, even somebody who you loved (and thought loved you). Throughout the course, we discussed what makes a monster, and why they can sometimes be so scary. The unknown factor ties in to this because most monsters that we discussed were frightening because we didn’t have any knowledge about it. An example would be to look back at Pliny the Elder, and all of the creatures detailed in his writings. Most of these creatures, like the Androgini, could have possibly only been feared because they were not properly educated. Most fear comes from the unknown and unsure factors in our heads.
Frankenstein’s monster is a good example of a monster that reflects human concerns with science and its power. This monster is a puzzle of different body parts from different individuals all sewn together and shocked to life with electricity. This monster indulges our fears and desires because scientists use to be fascinated with trying to reanimate corpses, so having a successful reanimation would have been mind-blowing and terrifying. Victor Frankenstein is terrified of his monster when it comes to life, causing him to run in fear and pass out. Victor Frankenstein had no guarantee that his experiment would be successful, and when it was he was scared because he had no idea what his creation was capable of.
King Kong is not a monster is the aspect that he is an ape and acted accordingly to his nature when he felt threatened. King Kong was taken from his home and chained up to be put on display for people to come and see, sort of like a freak show. After he was put on display the world could not believe what they were seeing. Ultimately, the cameras and commotion upset the ape and he broke free of his chains, also killing anyone who got in his way. This creates chaos amongst people who are now all terrified of King Kong for his natural instincts. All of the chaos could have been avoided if he was never taken from his home and hadn’t felt threatened.
Of the four types of monsters that Leo Braudy defines, the monster from the 1958 film The Blob would be a monster from nature. The Blob originates from space, a place that many people would not consider a part of nature, and begins to devour all life that it comes into contact with. It slowly grows and grows without much meaningful resistance, as all attempts to destroy it fail. In the end, its weakness is discovered and the town is able to incapacitate and contain it. The creature remains, however, as a way to destroy it has still yet to be found. The Blob represented humanity’s complete ignorance when it came to space at the time of the film. No one knew what the creature was and many doubted its existence until it was almost too late. While monsters from nature generally represent “our fears of losing control over the natural world”, the Blob goes a step further and shows us how little control we had in the first place. Something that we have never experienced or even conceived of could at any time come down from the void of space and completely change life as we know it, for good or for ill.
The 1968 movie Night of the Living Dead, like many zombie movies that came after it, focuses heavily on the interactions of the survivors while the zombies are used as a part of the setting. The zombies act as an unstoppable, unrelenting threat that slowly grinds down the survivors until fear and desperation overwhelms and destroys them. Previous works, such as Beowulf or Frankenstein, use the monsters themselves as a vessel for some statement, intended or otherwise, about humanity and its darker aspects. In this movie, however, the true monstrosity comes from the people in the story. As they become more desperate people begin to stop working together and act out of fear, either putting others at risk or leaving others for dead in the hopes of increasing their chances of survival.
For the first part of my blog, I am going to talk about the movie “Scream.” “Scream” is a horror movie from the 90s about Sidney Prescott, a high school student. Her mother was murdered and years after when the movie takes place a murderer starts to stalk her. In the end, the murderer turns out to be two murderers and they are her boyfriend and his best friend who was dating Sidney’s best friend. Sidney’s boyfriend, Billy Loomis, claims that he killed her mother and wants to kill her because Sidney’s mother slept with his father and caused his parents to divorce. This reminded of Leo Braudy’s third type of monster, “The “Jeckyll and Hyde monster,” doppelganger figures that represent the ways that many people live double lives, or have more than one “true” self,” because Billy and Stu act as a perfect boyfriend and friend until they are finally revealed as the murderers. Since there are two of them, it was easier for Billy to play his role as a good boyfriend.
For the second part of my blog, I am going to talk about the film “Freaks (1932).” Like most of the people, creatures, and monsters we have looked at in this course, the people in “Freaks,” make people scared and are used as a horror device because of their appearance. In Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo is disliked solely for his appearance. He is basically locked up in the church and just ringing the bell, which is different for the people who were put in freakshows. The people in freakshows were put on stage and exploited for money instead of hidden though. The group I picked ties into some of the key course ideas by once again showing that being different is usually equated to monstrosity.
The film work I viewed this week was the “Dawn of the dead” and this film fits in with Braudy’s Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power. This film correlates with this topic by zombies are serious possibility to human life. The reason people are so obsessed with zombies are because this is a possibility. The amount of drugs and vaccines that are made to prevent diseases there is a possibility one of them could turn us into a zombie or react to our body to make us mutate. The movie starts with a disease outbreak that mutates people into zombies. We almost have a disease like this in the world today. Animals with rabies are basically like zombies! When animals have rabies they are in an aggressive state with foaming by the mouth and when they bite another animal they also obtain rabies just like zombies would when they bite another human. Drugs that have zombie charistices are bath salts, when a person consumed bath salts they ate someone’s face off. This is scary because this drug was made by humans and this was just made to put bubbles and make your bath smell good. This movie shows if there is a zombie apocalypse no one is safe.
The second part of this blog post I was make connections from this semester to Frankenstein. Frankenstein is made by humans wich makes a connection to my first paragraph by science is getting out of hand with power and we don’t even see it. This monster is made by science and goes on a killing rampage, it’s not the monsters fault it was made this was the power of science. This is also a possibility that could happen today with all the tests scientists have with animals and humans. The connections i could make between humans and monstrosity is humans are the monster. Humans have made most of weapons and problems in the world we live in, humans are the real monstrosity.
The first part of the blog, I want to relate the movie the “Swamp Thing” to Braudy’s category relates to “Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power”. This is because in the “Swamp Thing” the man who becomes the monster was once a scientist who got turned into a swamp monster while someone was trying to steal his research. It shows that he was once a human who was interested with science who became a monster.
For the second part, I want to connect the monsters we’ve talked about throughout class and connect it with the theme of the fact we create monsters because we fear the unknown. Every monster we’ve talked about whether it be something human like something from a freak show or a monster like the ones from the maps, we are only scared of them because we don’t understand or know what they are which makes them scary. Things we are scared of become monsters.
For the first part of this blog post, I’d like to focus on the Blair Witch and her connection to the type four monster, one that somehow returns from the past to interrupt our modern developments and changes. In the movie, the Blair Witch Project, the Blair Witch is a deep-rooted mythical figure of the town, holding a strong history of activity in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland. In the film, the Blair Witch essentially breaks down the 3 students, Heather, Joshua, and Michael, who set out into the woods to film a documentary on the legend and possibly find her. Not only does the Blair Witch interrupt the students, and their documentary, but also interrupts the audience as well. When this film was released in 1999, audiences didn’t know how to wrap their head around the found footage concept. What you saw in a film was what you got and what you saw was that whatever happened was real. Seeing as a majority of people believed the film to be comprised of footage that was found at the scene of the deaths, it goes to show how the Blair Witch’s reach of interruption went beyond the movie and into the real world.
For the second part, I’d like to focus on John Kramer aka Jigsaw. When looking at all of the monsters we viewed throughout the semester, a good chunk of them at their core are either completely bad, or just misunderstood. When looking then at Jigsaw, he’s neither of those, and overall is more morally ambiguous. When he goes through with murdering his numerous victims, Jigsaw in his mind believes he is doing it for the greater good. After being diagnosed with cancer and given a death sentence, John Kramer is disgusted by those who throw their lives away by doing bad deeds, and wants them to learn to appreciate their lives. However, he chooses an insane way of showing it, one that some would think outweighs his moral defense. He traps Dr. Gordon in for being unfaithful to his wife, which is something to be reprimanded for, but choosing to threaten Gordon’s wife and child’s life as a way to get that message across is a bit too far. So as a whole, Jigsaw is a monster with valid motivation but horrible execution.
The monster I will be discussing is the Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom most accurately represents the third kind of monster described by Braudy, the Jeckyll and Hyde monster. Although the Phantom is one person, he goes through a dramatic change, from a kind and compassionate person at first to someone monstrous and evil. At first, he is Erique Claudin, a violinist in the Paris Opera. He has an issue with his hand that prevents him from being further employed but spent all his money on the training of Christine DuBois, the woman he loves. In an effort to get money to continue her training he kills someone and suffers a horrific acid burn on his face, turning him into the Phantom. As the Phantom he is still in love with Christine, and all his actions are an effort to make her successful. He is hiding and so his methods must be drastic so he becomes a monster. He poisons the opera’s star and cuts down the chandelier in the opera house, onto the crowd. He kidnaps Christine and holds her as his prisoner until she is saved and he meets his end. Despite all his efforts to make Christine love him, he ends up becoming an unlovable and ugly monster who ultimately dies alone.
For my second movie I watched Halloween, in which the “monster” was Michael Myers. The children referred to him as the Boogeyman which easily ties back into our previous study of make believe monsters in the modern world. Overwhelmingly, Michael ties into other monsters through his scare factor. Monsters are meant to scare you and this movie absolutely achieves that goal. Despite the movie being corny, the tried and true jump scares were honestly terrifying; exactly what you would expect from a monster.
The movie Halloween was a great pick for this assignment. Considering Leo Braudy’s four major type of monsters, the monster in this movie stood out as the character that went away for a long period of time and came back to cause disruption. Although in this case the disruption was random killings of innocent teens. Michael Myers came back from a long time spent in a sanitarium due to him not feeling emotions like normal little boys and murdering his sister. I think this film stroke fear in the viewers because the curiousness of the killer’s psychology and how a boy couldn’t feel the feelings that keep humans humane. The character of Michael Myers also follows the recurring theme in horror stories of killing innocent females that have sexual scenes first.
For this section of the blog post, I will be elaborating on the film The Phantom of the Opera. The monster of the film was known as Erik. A fact that stood out about him is how he gets physically disfigured in the scene of the first murder. A recurring idea throughout the class has been how people that are physically different gets rejected from society and get labeled monstrous. That allows that viewer to really understand that physical deformities have a large impact on how a person is perceived. Also, the part that Erik acts out in fury when he attacks and kills the man that stole his music, can be sympathized with to an extent. The character Erik had worked on the composure for two years to have it stolen from him. The tactic of being able to relate to the monster was used here. The Phantom of the Opera was a great movie to watch and fits comfortably into the ideas we have learned about in class.
For filmwork I viewed the movie Saw directed by James Wan. Saw is a gore filled horror film with a man who goes by the name of Jigsaw who makes people play live or die games. Leo Braudy outlines four types of monsters. Jigsaw reflects the “Jeckyll and Hyde monster”, which is doppelganger figures that represent the ways that many people live double lives, or have more than one “true” self. Jigsaw fits into this category perfectly because in the movie he saw the other side of people, and punished them for there true self which turned out to be negative. Jigsaw was like their doppelganger, and brought out there deepest darkest secrets. Before the game Jigsaw explains why they are there, and the wrongdoings they have done. This works to indulge our fears and desires because many people do not want things they have done wrong to get out, and these people suffer the consequences in brutal ways because of saw.
Another movie monster that I watched was the infamous Halloween. Michael Myers was a troubled young child who had a lot of family problems. The movie begins with him as a young child who murders his half naked sister. He has a mental problems just like many serial killers in real life, many deal with their own inner monsters. Michael Myers has been described as a force of nature, he is superhuman in the movie, and fights off bullets. Michael is an imaginary monster in human form. He was someone that people could fear in their town. Many people portray people with mental issues such as schizophrenia as scary and insane. Michael can be compared to the cyclops in the novel the Odyssey. The Cyclops is a large monster that terrorizes the men on the island that enter the cave. Michael terrorizes the people of haddonfield in a carnage. We have looked at a lot of dark literature, and Halloween was one of the first successful slasher movies that gave people a good scare. Overall, Monsters and monstrosity always has some type of negative connotation to it. Many monsters just turn out to be misunderstood, sick with mental illness, or even turns out to not be the real monster.
One monster that fits one of Braudy’s four over- arching categories is the blob. This particular monster fits into category 2, Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power. The glob is an alien life form that is not from Earth. It’s characteristics are like no other. It frightens people cause it represents science but with still no explanation. The blob has so much power that is beyond human kind. Since it is from outer space there are so many unanswered questions.
For the second part of the blogpost I would like to talk about Jack from “The Shining”. The audience gets to see Jack turn into a monster throughout the movie. His actions progressively get worse and worse due to the the paranormal entities that are haunting him. The entities eventually drive him to the point of wanting to kill his own family. There are other monster stories where in the beginning they seem to be “normal” and they get manipulated in a certain way. You almost in a way have sympathy for the monster.
A Nightmare on Elm Street features a deranged who stalks and murders teenagers in their dreams. I feel as though Freddy Krueger, the main villain in the movie, represents Braudy’s the first of four major types of monsters, “Monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. It is a clear concept to recognize in this film because the teenagers have no control in their dreams (nightmares really), which affects them in the real world as well. The teenagers try to take control over their reality by avoiding sleep, because once they dream, they are then in Freddy Krueger’s underworld of terror, where everything is out of their control.
I think that it is generally easy to connect Frankenstein with some of the concepts weve discussed over the semester, mainly because it is so fresh in my mind. I think its important to connect him and Grendel because they are both products of being handed an unfortunate deal in life. I think that they are both clearly misunderstood which is important to point out because it reflects how they respond. These “monsters” respond negatively only because all they ever knew was negativity, because that’s the only reaction they ever received from people throughout their lives. I recently came across an article about Charles Manson, a notorious serial killer, and his life growing up. What I found to be the most interesting was that his mother, only 16 years old when she gave birth to him, didn’t even bother to give him a name. When the nurses handed her the birth certificate, she simply wrote “No Name”, and to this day his birth certificate is still registered as “No Name Maddox”. I think that speaks volumes in regards to Frankenstein because when he was first “born/ created” his maker didn’t even bother to give him a name, in fact he just fled out of fear. Grendel on the other hand, had his mother involved in his life, yet she was always sleeping or wouldn’t acknowledge him for the better part of his life. It just goes to show that relationships play a major role in a person’s life, and regardless of if the parent(s) is present in the child’s life, if there is no effort or relationship, then morals are blurred.
Within the movie, the Phantom of the Opera, the “phantom” is a man who had been wronged by others. Initially, he’d composed a song, but it was stolen, and when he exacted his revenge for it, he was disfigured, then cast out. From that point onwards, he donned the iconic mask and began “haunting” the theater/opera house. Just from that background alone, the Phantom could be categorized as the fourth type of monster – “monsters (especially those that somehow return from the past) that serve to interrupt our modern developments and changes.” Not only was he a monster that returned from the past, but he also interrupted many of the opera house’s attempts to move forward, all to put Christine, the female lead/protagonist of the story, at the forefront. It is also interesting to note that he is known as the “Phantom” of the Opera (phantom being synonymous with ghost, almost), and, as was mentioned in class, ghosts are often the kind of monster related to some kind of injustice. That said, ghost stories are often ones about revenge, too.
To answer part two, the root of all monsters is human fear – whether it has to do with internal or external – every monster is of human creation in some shape or form. As was also discussed within class, monsters were often borne of times of change or when civilizations encountered something new. To study the monster that was, or is, the most popular of that time period is almost representative of a window into how society was like in that era. In fact, just from that idea alone, it can easily be said that the idea of monsters will forever be ubiquitous, and for that, a more classic monster would perhaps be most appropriate to relate back to in this question. Thus, considering the idea that monsters – as a concept, genre, thought, etc. – are immortal, perhaps Dracula would be the most appropriate monster to discuss here. Dracula is almost the perfect monster in a way – he challenges the human obsession with mortality (being an immortal), at the same time appears human enough for people to see themselves reflected in him. With mysterious origins, he is both natural and unnatural because no one knew where he came from or how he came to be, so the question would be whether or not it was due to some human error or through some natural cause that such a monster was created. Additionally, he is a vampire – a type of monster that has been around for an extremely long time – but was made popular/came into existence at the end of a tumultuous era – and seem to always come back around in literature or media.
For my first part of the blogpost I am going to choose the monster from “Frankenstein” that victor created in the film. The monster himself represents idea number two in the section. “Monsters that reflect human concerns with science and its power”. The idea of Victor Frankenstein creating the monster shows concern with human interactions and science. The power of a human and the power of science can be seen as a monster itself, scientific discovery is powerful and meaningful to many aspects of life. Victor Frankenstein abused the power of science and in many people’s eyes created a monster but in the end of the film we realize that the real monster isn’t the “monster” or creation its victor and his abuse of the power of science. Concerns with science are in the air every day, people morally question experiment’s if they are ethical or if the experiment is monstrous to us or to other creatures. Overall science is powerful and in the movies like Frankenstein can show the true monstrosity of science and the scientists.
For my second part of the blog post I am going to choose the monster from the black lagoon. The monster from the black lagoon I believe is a great example for the overall ideas and concepts of our class. The black lagoon monster shows a variety of monstrous ideas and concepts, the monster is relatable to many sea monsters and always gives that lurk feeling while in the water. Overall the idea of a monster I believe is just fear in our own heads, all monster are just a figment of our imagination in a way, we fear them because they are out of the norm such as the black lagoon guy, because he has gills, snake like skin and looks like a true monster. Throughout the course we have learned about the idea of morally sound people and why we believe a monster is a monster but maybe the guy in the black lagoon isn’t a monster but because he is different and lives in a different habitat he is seen as monstrous. All in all its our choice if we want to call someone or something a monster and in our heads we decide the fates of these monsters. The reason we fear monsters is due to questioning we want to know more but we can’t because we classify things that we don’t know enough about as monsters most of the time.
I watched “Nightmare on Elm Street”. In this movie Freddy Krueger is considered a monster who feeds off of people’s fears. He attacks when they are in their dreams because he can control them when they dream. Freddy Krueger is related to the first option, the “monster from nature” who reflects our fears of losing control over the natural world. Freddy Krueger takes control of the people’s dreams and controls what happens. The people think they are in their own dreams, but that is not so. When Freddy goes into someones dream he drags them into his world where he controls everything. We lose control of what we used to have control of.
For the second part of this blogpost I would like to discuss Frankenstein. Frankenstein was created and then abandoned because he looked scary. Throughout the story we are told that he wants nothing, but to fit in and be loved by humans. He never showed a sign of being evil or a monster. The reason he was labeled a monster is because he looked different. Due to this he was never accepted by the humans. He did not ask to be born like this, he was forcefully brought to life and abandoned. Frankenstein relates to what we have talked about in class by the fact that he is simply labeled a monster because he looks different. No one tries to get to know him, they simply freak out and attack him when they see him. I feel that Frankenstein draws a conclusion on how we label people monsters. What I mean by this is, should we call someone a monster because they don’t look like us or should we call them a monster because they act like one? We definitely need to rethink this question.
The first monster I am choosing is Michael Myers from Halloween. I believe he can fit into two of Braudy’s types of monsters. The first being a doppelgänger monster because although he displayed signs of a psychopath during his childhood he could still be seen as a normal boy and wasnt trying to kill everything without restraining himself. He then killed his sister and her boyfriend and displayed his true psychopathic tendencies. He also fits the monsters from the past disturbing modern life because after he killed his sister and her boyfriend he was in a mental hospital for several years and then escaped to once again terrorize the town. Most mental illnesses are incurable and Michael Myers taps into our fear for something we cant control.
The second monster I have chosen is Jason’s mother from Friday the 13th. Jason’s mom is by all means a monster and what she does cannot be justified but she isnt killing just to kill. She is seeking revenge for her sons death and doesnt want the camp to reopen so she can make sure no child suffers the same fate. In her mind this reasoning is completely logical and shows that her intentions for killing had some backing to it. As we’ve seen before some monsters are misunderstood as to why they do the things they do and I believe you could make that case for Mrs. Vorhees as well (although she goes about it the completely wrong and irrational way). This also shows that she was driven to madness over her sons death similar to how other monsters such as the monster in Frankenstein built up a hatred from people.