Monday, July 10, 2006

Base Human Fear

The advertisements for M. Night Shyamalon's new movie, "Lady in the Water" has got me thinking about basic human fear, and about the horror genre in general, which leads me to this conclusion:

One of the base human fears, I would say, is a fear of wolves. Rather, a fear of the idea of wolves. Most people have seen enough discovery channel documentaries or enough docile wolves in zoos to understand that they are just beautiful animals. But that still can't override a fear of them, of what we think they might do.

Take the classic 1946 Walt Disney version of Peter and the Wolf. If you've seen the very old movie version with the blonde-haired boy, Peter, Sasha the Bird, Sonya the Duck, and Ivan the cat, you've also seen the Wolf, a vicious, frightening carciature of the wolf (Click here for pictures). This wolf has haunted me ever since I saw this movie. And witnessing the new adverts for Lady in the Water has brought back these fears.

There's something about a dark, fanged shadow that is faster, smarter, and much more capable of killing than you, coming at you, and you can't stop it.

Or perhaps it is this lack of control that we fear (which would explain the phobias about the living dead, mummies, and vampires).

Doesn't that just creep you out?

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