4 Terrifying Psychology Lessons Behind Famous Movie Monsters | After Hours

Krueger? That’s like saying Alf is the scariest alien. Then scream! Or Screamer, or whatever his name is. What are we doing? Which monster is the scariest, and psychologically speaking why? [incoming jumpscare scream] N/A. Sodium? You’re afraid of salt? The scariest monster is… no monster. Think about; what’s the point in every monster movie where it starts to lose the scary? Right before the end, right when they finally, actually show you the monster full on. It’s the horror money shot. And just like porn, it all gets a lot less interesting as soon as the climax hits. Yeah, see this is exactly what I’m saying about Freddy Krueger. He’s a known quantity. He doesn’t even wear a mask you can see his face the entire time. [Kruger] Bone-apatite! All the best scares happened in the foreplay. When the monster still a shape in the shadows. [Michael] Alien! [Soren] Predator. [Katie] The Neverending Story. Literally. Exactly. Kind of. They all share the same thing, your brain is free to fill in the blanks with whatever is the most uniquely terrifying details it can come up with. And your brain knows exactly how to scare you. So, when you say Freddy, you’re basically saying “Yep that guy, that’s the thing, that’s the scariest thing my brain can come up with.” Which… is good, I guess? Sounds like you just have a very pleasant imagination. Mostly just kittens riding unicorns. Okayyyy… Rape! Well, it’s scarier than nothing. Especially for horror’s key demographic; adolescent teen males. Teen boys are afraid of rape more than… other people? Teen males have two basic fears: 1) Their own sexual inadequacies. The fear that they’re the only one of their friends who didn’t get his copy of how to work a vagina in the mail. And 2) fear of that first fear. That their friends will find out how scared they are of lady parts and call them a homosexual. And Alien is all about terror sex. Think about it, how does it start? Big tough space guys are out doing big tough space shit until they interact with some eggs; the universal symbol of human reproduction and then what happens? Boom! Facehugger. Which incidentally looks like a human vagina sewed onto a spider. It latches onto tough McSpaceguy’s skull and immediately starts ramming its cylindrical meat tube down his throat. If this transsexual arachnigina is separated forcefully the victim is killed. Basically the textbook definition of a rapist. And the victim leaves unwittingly nurturing the rapist’s child and in the ultimate emasculation is forced to give violent chest birth to the thing’s kid. So, to recap; a space vagina rapes its baby into you which then rapes its way out of you. Double rape! And all in front of your friends. Plus, of course, the baby looks like a dick, because everything is dicks! Dick! Dick, dicks, dicks, dicks until the end of time! AH HA HA! Are you going to eat that? So dick-plosions aside, Freddy Krueger’s got- Zombies. [Katie makes a disappointed sound]
[Michael] Booooooooo! Zombies having been scary since they became the default shotgun fodder for first person shooters. That’s because it’s not manifesting as fear anymore it’s hatred. What do we do to zombies? [Newscaster] Removing the head, or- [Daniel, Michael, Katie] Remove the head, destroy the brain. Yeah, we exterminate them, we obliterate them, we HATE zombies. We hate them because they’re us. They’re human beings but with all the stuff that makes us so great removed. Emotion, intellect, empathy, bitchin’ tans. I mean we see a zombie and we think, “Jesus Christ, is that all I am? Just a wandering, festering, bag of meat?” Well, I think we all know what Jesus Christ would- AH! I’m fine! We don’t want to face the awful realization that we might just be these monstrous balls of hunger and lust. That’s what makes zombies such handy villains for our enemies. They’re like us but they’re not actually us. In Night of the Living Dead, Romero zombies represented communism; in Dawn of the Dead they represented in the mindless consumer. Whoever the antagonist of today is, that’s who we hate, and that’s who becomes the zombies. Haha! O-zombie-bin-laden! [Katie] It’s about fear, not hate. Yeah, but where do you think hate comes from? I mean, we start out feeling afraid of something, and then that fear makes us feel weak, and that weakness makes us angry, and then we start to hate. [Yoda voice] Hmm, recently watched Star Wars, someone has- OH GA-! Zombies don’t just represent who we hate, they reproduce how we process fear as hatred. And we don’t have to feel bad about stoving their heads in because they’re not real people. Right, they’re Republicans. [Sore] What?
[Daniel] What? Like, conservatives as perceived by liberals, this monolithic mob of endless consumerism. Or how like vampires are how liberals are perceived by conservatives; sexually ambiguous outcasts who suck the lifeblood out of society. Yeah, and don’t forget about the wacky accents, ‘cause there’s nothing conservatives hate more than- oh holy shit she’s totally right. When conservatives fear someone it’s because they think they’re either a) secretly foreign, or b) preying on young women. And liberals, they love accusing Bush and his followers of being mindless, mouth-breathing, drooling idiots. [Reporter] Jonathan just got an awesome face paint job, what do you think?
[Child] I like turtles! Yeah! Old zombies are communists, then 28 Days Later zombies are the terrorists, oh! And Reavers! No, Night of the Living Dead was a hit when Nixon was in office, the Red Scare was over. And then the consumerist zombies came in the 80s, Reagan, then Clinton gets a BlowJ and suddenly they’re all Anne Rice’s sexually promiscuous vampires. Then Bush start waging preemptive wars and then we get 28 Days Later and they’re more aggressive zombies. So Obama is like the cool Twilight vampire? Right, he’s so cool he makes everyone else want to be a vampire, and that’s the thing that’s scary about monsters; indoctrination. All it takes is one bite, or one Facehugger-ing, or one pit stop into the swamp of sadness and suddenly you’re out there on the fringe, bombing abortion clinics or driving a Prius with a coexist sticker down to your local co-op. Human fear is nothing more than the manifestation of our aversion to the archetypal “other”, and our nagging doubt “we” and “they” are one in the same. You know, Hegel, Sartre. Whatevs. Katie, do you know what you’ve done? You actually made horror… boring. Yeah. You’re… horr-ing! Seriously Katie, nobody here wants to talk about politics. Oo! Snorks! [Daniel] Yeah, alright! Uh… like what about them? [Michael] I dunno… pro or con? [Katie] Check please! [Soren] Which major religion is represented by each Snork? [Daniel] Oooooooo… GAH! [sound of Daniel falling out of his chair]