When you’re running down a ramshackle corridor, desperately seeking an exit, and wind up trapped in the corner, screaming and wailing before you die, it’s important to ask yourself one last question: Who’s killing you? There are all kinds of horror movie villains, but the type of monster who actually slaughters you says a lot about the world you live in.
For example: If you’re simply being stabbed to death by a psycho in a William Shatner mask, you’ve learned that the human subconscious is a creepier place than you were once led to believe. It may not seem that way, thanks to the news, but many people go through most of their lives without being a victim of a serious crime. Those illusions must surely break down as your guts spill all over the shag carpet. You died but you’re gained a valuable lesson about the human condition. The existence of genuine evil is pretty genuine, and something you should have taken into consideration before going to that creepy shack where all those kids were murdered 10 years ago.
Then again, if you’re mauled to death by a rabid grizzly bear, you’re probably reassessing your relationship to the animal kingdom. If you’re a lifelong vegetarian, you’re probably vowing that if you get out of this alive – you won’t – you’ll treat yourself to a rare, bloody steak as soon as you get home, just to reassert your dominance in the food chain. If you’ve taken your dominance for granted, maybe you’ll do the opposite, and feel justly humbled the next time a plate of chicken is set in front of you. Those could have been serial killer chickens, after all. Bound to stick in your craw, that is.
But that’s peanuts compared to the supernatural killer who’s waiting in your dreams, or prepared to possess your fresh corpse. When an honest-to-god ghost kills you, the positive approach would be to take comfort in the fact that there is an afterlife, and you might get to be a badass after you enter. There are rules to the universe – rules you may not understand – that place your life, over though it may be, in greater context. It’s a high price to pay for spiritual enlightenment, but it’s more than most people get. You should feel privileged.
We’re “cup is half-full” people, ourselves. Your life is over, but at least getting killed by a prehistoric monster will get you in the newspapers. And you’ll go to your grave knowing a little bit more about the world as a whole. And you’ll have a great story to tell in the afterlife: “How did I die? I was vaporized by a Martian. My death proved the existence of life on other planets. Kinda makes your little heart attack look like crap, doesn’t it?”
On Wednesday the 11th, we’ll be posting an exclusive infographic from Cabin in the Woods that details all the different kinds of horror movie predators, and gives their popularity in percentages. Once this kind of thing is quantified, maybe we’ll have a greater understanding about the world around us. Or maybe we’ll just be prepared to die from shark attacks, or whatever else leads the list. Come back next week for more.