You can hide. You can scream. But you will have to give this issues a thought.
I’ve always hated the possibility of our society ending up in a chaotic zombie apocalypse like the one they play in horror movies. Just thinking about it gives me the chills. Where would I run? Who would I save? There are too many questions and too many possibilities. In theory, zombies are supposed to be supernatural undead beings. Yet, we’ve seen a pattern in movies where zombie outbreaks are associated with human made viruses, scientific experimentations, and climate change. What if a zombie attack had higher rates of occurring because of human activities? I’m sure you've had these thoughts cross your mind before. For that reason, many had bought Max Brook’s The Zombie Survival Guide. Now that we know horror movies can actually influence our social values, let’s take a look at some socially conscious horror movies I've found just for you.
The Crazies (2010)
It’s a film were a chemical agent thrown into the water is making the people of a town in Pennsylvania become violent psychopaths. Everything seems normal until out of nowhere people started killing their neighbors, friends, and family members without an apparent good reason. What we can learn from this horror movie is that during times of war, political figures have gone to extremes and if we don’t watch them closely, those “experiments” can backfire on us.
“Television can change your mind; Videodrome will change your body.” In this sci-fi horror movie, the issue of television affecting the brains of people is addressed. Of course, this was a movie idea originated during the late eighties and the obsession with television and how it was making people “dumb” was of importance to social discussions. The movie is about a TV signal that transmits violence, torture, and pornography. Little by little Videodrome’s audience start experiencing extreme hallucination of horrific things, like body alteration, and they lose all notion of reality.
The Happening (2008)
This movie is about global warming and the consequences of not taking care of nature. According to the film, plants and trees have evolved to the point where their survival abilities have created a fragrance that implant suicidal thoughts into the brains of humans. Everyone starts killing themselves out of nowhere and it takes the authorities a very long time to figure out why. Despite being a fictitious movie, it does make you think about how irritated nature is with our activities, which are destroying most of the planet.
This film surrounds the issue of race and the privilege certain individuals take advantage of. A grad student finds an urban legend known as the Candyman, if you say his name five times in front of the mirror, he will be summoned. She is intrigued about how people of color believe in the myth. Furthermore, she decides to investigate and write her thesis about it. Little does she know that the slave who was once lynched because of a White man’s decision is more than real and now is after her.
World War Z (2013)
How big is the pharmaceutical industry? Pretty big, enough to turn the entire human race into vicious zombies. In this movie, a zombie outbreak destroys cities and they still don’t know why? Turns out, viruses have become so advanced that they can now use host humans to infect others.
The Purge (2013)
What would you do if for 12 hours, once a year, all crime (including murder) is legal? This is the main concept behind the franchise saga that has many thinking “What would I do?” Apparently, in this dystopian society, everything is perfect: crime is at its lowest, everyone is employed and there are no violent acts. Only during the Purge. This film touches our political and social flaws. Why would the government be willing to allow crime to be legal in order the keep peace throughout the year, is not as horrific as why would our society allow it and even enjoy it.
This film shines light on the horrors undocumented folks face when crossing the US-Mexico border. A group of film students decide to make a documentary about illegal immigration. However, they come across a group of self proclaimed "patriots" who torture undocumented immigrants on US soil. Even though these film majors are American citizens, they are treated the same violence they treat immigrants. Clearly a movie about the human rights that are violated in the border areas.
Other horror movies worth mentioning are: The People Under The Stairs (1991), The Dead Zone (1983), Society (1989), and a few more. Thus, is there a better way to make us realize the problems of our society, than imagining them in the worst case scenario? I don't thin so. Horror movies put your mind to work and help us prevent a catastrophic scenario in which we enjoy watching, but would hate living in.
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