Hollywood Series: The True Zombies of Horror Films

Torture Posters
Today’s ‘Horror’ films are more about torture and mind-control than entertainment. ‘Saw’, ‘Silent Hill’, and ‘Hostel’ are three examples.

October 25, 2007

WHAT does it mean to be ‘horrified’? Origins of the word are rooted in Old English, French, and Latin — particuarly, horrere, a Latin verb that means ‘to shudder or bristle with fear’ — and can even mean ‘hairy’ (which may explain those Japanese horror films). Certainly, fear makes our hair stand on end (on our arms at least — a phenomenon called ‘gooseflesh’ or ‘goosebumps’). Hearts beat more quickly; breathing rates increase, and we – the benumbed and pitiable theater-goers – stare at the film screen, ignoring all physiological signals warning us to leave. Why are we addicted to fear?

The human appetite for gore and blood is as old as mankind. Beginning with Cain and Abel, the first murderer and his victim, blood stains our history. Man is not born in innocence — we are born in sin, and we soon develop a massive need for violence. In service to their fallen angel ‘gods’, pre-flood mankind offered up their women and their lives as sacrifices. Post-flood society soon fell back into old patterns — offering children to Molech (passing them through the fire) and engaging in blood and sex rituals meant to gain power or appease angry deities (the fallen angels of old).

In modern times, such rituals take place in dark places — some hidden fro prying eyes within deep caverns or mystic hallways — others outfitted with rows of comfy chairs with drink holders. That’s right. Bloodletting and ritualistic sacrifice on theater screens may well satisfy a hungry ‘god’ just as much. Let me tell you why.

Mind-control experts have long known that fear-based trauma in the human psyche acts to break down our wills. Voyeuristic participation in the on-screen murder, torture, dismemberment, etc. of an innocent snaps barriers and sets up thresholds. Think back to ‘horror’ films of the 1960s. Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ had very little blood, but it chilled moviegoers’ spines and made millions of women switch from showers to baths. Today’s thrillers (such as ‘Saw’ and ‘Wolf Creek’) no longer suggest evil — they are evil, and they seem to take pride in showing it. Twisted villains engage in sexual, sado-masochism that would have forced the closure of a 1960s theater, but instead propels today’s films to the top of the boxoffice list.

Music and ambient sounds — some barely perceptible — combine with visual clues to heighten our sensitivities while lulling our left-brain (reasoning) to sleep. The end result is a kind of hypnotic state, which accepts instruction with very little objection. On screen, we see a crazed killer dismembering a living female — within our minds, an unnoticed message whispers ‘she likes it — isn’t this fun?’. Teens identify with killers more than victims — seeing themselves as empowered. Devils dance upon our corpus callosums, delighting in our mental bloodletting and virtual sacrifices. Violence begets more violence, and this week’s torture film soon seems tame to our seared brains — higher doses of fear and empowerment come only from increased pain (now perceived as pleasure).

We need a sequel.

And Satan laughs.

Don’t get me wrong — I am a fan of old horror films, so I can speak from experience. My writing reflects this to a certain extent, although my style is more gothic than gore. However, today’s instant torture classics, such as Silent Hill and The Hills Have Eyes, repulse me. Yes, I’ve watched all or parts of each — it’s part of that ‘peering into darkness’ call to arms that underwrites my life — but I can’t watch for long. There is no morality to these films — no object lesson — no Light conquering Darkness moment. There is — instead — only darkness. Terrifying, gut-wrenching darkness.

Do you know what films your child watches? Do you care? Do you know the content of these films? If you love your children, you’ll make it a point to know.


  1. How true, I saw the bone collector with friends a few years ago and was horrified. Don’t get me wrong I still like scary classics like ‘Alien’ but the newer stuff seems to revel in being demented for the hell of it. I can watch the news or read history to find that stuff without going to hollywood to revel in it.

  2. I can’t watch any of these films anymore. I used to like them but just can’t anymore. They leave me very uneasy. If I watch one, I literally need a comedy to wipe my mind free of the last movie. I just find them disturbing on a mental level. To me they are just propaganda for torture.

  3. Even though Silent Hill was a blood fest it does not belong in the same category as the Slasher/Gore films.

    It was a smart film if one recognized all the signs/symbols. It was a place where reality and personality are shattered and split. The tortured child now becoming two, having a light and a dark side. The lighter side/nature was taken to another place so that it would not be consumed by the Darkness, but when the time came she would remember her roots and one day return. QUOTE:

    “The little girl is what’s left of her goodness. We hid her away in a world outside this hell…” END QUOTE

    The world in Silent Hill is matriarchal in nature. It has occult undertones. Pyramid head was part male phallic symbol, part Anibus, Egyptian god of the dead.

    The cross used in the Chapel was Gnostic, the picture of the Christ figure on the wall guarding the children, had the face of Cristabelle, their “Shepherdess” as almost a Mother Sophia. Except their Shepherdess was No loving Mother. She tortured her own granddaughter Alessa (who had telepathic powers) to purify her in the “sacred fires” The child’s own mother allowed it. And after she split…Boy is she pissed off about it!

    The child hid inside another to be able to infiltrate their church/sanctuary in hell or purgatory, depending upon how you look at it.

    Crist(abelle) was a twisted Shepard and in the end was “crucified”.

    One the child’s parts unite she gets her revenge, but she spares her birth mother and adoptive mother. Leaving her guilty birth mother unscathed, she no longer wanted this life and asked why she was spared, The child answered….”Why don’t you know? In the eyes of a child, Mother is God”
    Parts of the Movie almost reminded me of what you and pastor Dizdar have discussed.

  4. I apologise for the horror movie,made in Australia “Wolf creek”. I refuse to see it on principle ,and am amazed that it is considered the film that revitalised the Australian film industry. In the name of artistic liberty ,the Australian artistic elite,an unrepresentative swill,talk about it in great rapture. There was a film review that was devoid of any sense of moral outrage or humanity and ended with a description of a rape scene.

    Lincoln’s words ring in my ears loudly “I tremble when i remember that God is Just”

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