October begins this week, kicking off my favorite season for movies. Cable channels will run monster marathons. Weekends will be dedicated to horrors, hauntings, and whodunits.
I love suspense and thrills, though not too much gore. My imagination fills in plenty of that on its own. Monsters, aliens, psycho-killers, mutants and zombies are the fare I enjoy with the lights dimmed and the popcorn popped.
In recent years, wizards, vampires, werewolves, zombies and fairy tales have been the hot subject of both the big and small screen. As a friend of mine eloquently said, “When things are tough, people need to escape.” All of these fantastic creatures and their stories are a fun way to do just that.
A monster can, in our mind, embody all of the stresses and calamity we see every day in our real lives. Through the hero of the story, we can face our fears of the beastly attacks and come out victorious. It’s almost therapy. Not that the problems have gone away, but that we find refreshment in the moment of fear. The adrenaline rush can supply us with clarity for a while. Things become black and white—good and evil—and we know right from wrong without question.
Fairy tales populated with monsters and darkness have been around for centuries. They began as a means for parents to teach their children the dangers of disobedience and the hazards that exist outside the home. The perils are still there, though not in the form of vampire or zombie. Children of every age long for the comfort of boundaries and the security of a home. When these are threatened, we need reassurance.
This is the perfect time to gather friends and crowd the couch. Put on your favorite monster flick. Laugh, scream, and jump when the cat pounces down from the top of the closet. You know that once you finally get your breath back that will be the precise moment that the killer appears. Enjoy the fear from the safety of your living room or within the reach of your best friends. October will be filled with surprises.
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.