Fairy tales often have serious, even grim messages beneath their stories. Little Red Riding Hood is a warning to beware of strangers. Tales of lake or river faeries are cautionary stories to warn the young to be wary of the calm surface of the water, for underneath may occur a drowning accident. Trolls could be metaphors for the capriciousness of the natural world, giving a bountiful harvest or famine and starvation.
Movies often resonate like a fairy tale. Romantic comedies/fantasies speak of the hope to escape the burdens of life. Horror movies can be about getting trapped by life’s chaos. Do movie monsters serve the same purpose as fairy tale monsters, as metaphors for real life dangers?
Movie monsters are not very frightening. What monster can compare to how scary real life can be? Godzilla? Dracula? Dracula is fantasy, and the vampire is a creature of “Twlight” fantasy. The same with the werewolf or similar fantasy creatures.
However, I think the zombie movie genre works as a metaphor for something horrible about reality. Unlike the vampire genre, there is nothing romantic about zombies. What can the soulless dead say about reality?
To my way of thinking, zombie movies like ‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘Dawn of the Dead’, ‘28 Days Later’ and so forth examine the collapse of civilization and the threat of the mindless mob. The zombie attacks without rational cause. They cannot be negotiated with, only avoided or battled. Run run! How would we react if we were surrounding by a mob of soulless beings that only wanted to kill us? This is not only fantasy.
In the news was a story about a mob that beat to death an honors high school student near Fenger High School in Chicago. It was brutal and shocking; the video was caught on a cell phone. This awful video seemed like a gruesome scene from a zombie movie…below is a video about the news story.
The zombie “fairy tale” could be a metaphor for irrational violence and even genocide. The zombie concept is not that far a stretch from the mob violence that plagues the world. Who are these people who can beat someone to death or stand by and just watch? They are real-life zombies. They are the Soulless…the true Living Dead.
How is it possible to not have a soul? I could blame bad parenting. When a child is born, their parents will shape this new life. There is no greater responsibility then giving a child the tools necessary to survive and prosper. If a young mind is not developed, the empty soul will be filled by other influences. Perhaps the passions of the mob will fill the empty vessel, and in the process strip away the soul. The zombie metaphor is maybe too close to reality.