One of the great things about horror movies is the mystery that many of them contain. They raise questions and sometimes never fully provide the answer at first glance. It’s only after multiple viewings do we see the whole picture, ignoring the red herrings and instead seeking out the symbols that often pass by us unnoticed at first glance. And if there’s someone out there who does his best to pay attention to those symbols, it’s Gemini Syndrome‘s Aaron Nordstrom. Below is his list of the Top 10 Uses Of Symoblism In Horror Movies. Head on down to check it out!
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Stigmata – This entire movies symbolism is fantastic. The fact that a non believer receives the wounds of Christ coupled with the message from the gospel of Thomas is indeed a tough one for some people to swallow but ultimately I think it’s saying that anyone can be, and really already are, connected to God despite their belief or lack thereof.
Silent Hill – I like the use of the pseudo-Westboro church mentality. Using people’s blind faith in an attempt to control power over the masses. A very real and very frightening concept that true evil masquerades as good to keep up their wicked work.
Every Zombie Movie Ever – The symbolism of zombies is one of my favorites. Again going back to the herd mentality that most people aren’t really aware of themselves and actions. Just following the flock to eat their fellow man for a simple moment of joy while inevitably destroying the core of what they are.
Evil dead – Just bringing the Necronomicon into a story is symbolism enough for me but the fact that there’s always somebody messing around with things they are not educated in leading to the demise of themselves and friends is a beautiful metaphor for life itself and especially the occult. Don’t tamper with that which you do not understand.
Event Horizon – “Where we’re going, you won’t need eyes.” Best line ever? Symbolically stating that there are some people who can become so obsessed with destruction they destroy themselves and everything around them with the attitude of a savior. A reoccurring theme in horror movies I must say.
Dead Alive – this is one of my favorite horror movies but I consider it more of a comedy. But I’m weird like that. Not only was there more blood than any other horror movie at the time, possibly still holding the record. The symbolism of “mommy issues” is painstakingly obvious. Such a common trait in our culture to not follow what our true emotions are for fear of the reprimand from whatever patriarchal figure is looming over us. Plus the line from the priest “I kick ass for The Lord” is a personal favorite. I don’t know how many truly deeply religious people you know but the ones I have met are very scary mofos. Just look at Shaolin monks. Deeply spiritual people who can kill you, but probably won’t.
Candyman – I love and hate this movie. I love it because its an incredible film and based in my home of Chicago. Hate it because I hate bees Really hate bees. The cool thing about this one is the representation of belief. The power of the mind is incredible and can create and distort reality solely based on an idea in your head. Have you ever said his name in front of a mirror? Haha. I have. Nothing happened. It’s still a movie.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula – One of my favorite books as a kid growing up, the movie really did it justice in my opinion. The wicked deceit of Dracula is almost unparalleled by any other villain in history. Trickery, class, and good manners are key here but the part I find fascinating is the back story. He rides for God and the one thing he loves is gone so he curses the creator and becomes cursed himself. Always trying to gain back what he lost. Love. A beautiful metaphor for so many experiences in this life.
Resident Evil – The symbolism is so blatant here. I love it. “The Umbrella Corp.”. Are you kidding me? If there was ever a metaphor for a grand conspiracy screwing up really really bad, it’s here. I have to toss in the Matrix as well. I know it isn’t horror, well maybe, but the idea is the same. How many “eye in triangle” motifs can you find in these flicks? Just sayin.
The Cell – this is one of my all time favorite movies. The concept of going inside the subconscious mind consciously is so cool. To be able to see inside someone’s thought patterns. To live in the pretend world we all create, that’s just awesome. As for symbolism the fact that a vicious killer can be reduced to a tortured child is really heavy and really fucking relevant to the world we live in. I’m not defending anyone or anything but simply making an observation about the human condition. These things do happen people do get twisted into things they should never have become and its an ugly truth. On top of that, there’s an albino dog that is the calming element to his suffering. I’m an albino dog (in the Chinese zodiac). So I always liked that as well.