Monday, June 11, 2007

Zombies, vampires and resurrection

Almost every day I watch movie trailers during my breaks on the internet. At A&M Kelly and I used to watch them together as we ate lunch and now I am a movie trailer addict. There is a lot you can tell about a movie from its short 2 minute summary, usually they show almost the entire plot in those two minutes. If so, then it really is not worth it to sit through the entire feature. Sometimes they even show the end of the movie. You know in the end of two minutes who the heroes were, what their struggles are, and what happens..

The other thing about watching all of the movie trailers is that you get a good idea of trends. One trend I see is the increase in horror movies, especially zombie, vampire, and undead monster movies (Rise, 28 weeks later, fido, I am legend) and the blood and guts torture movies. The torture movie seemed to have started with Saw and consists of "normal" people that become vicious and cruel and torture their fellow beings to death (Saw 1, Saw 2, Saw3, Hostel, Vacancy, The hills have eyes - even the trailers for these do not deserve to be watched. I think the horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo don't need to be flaunted as entertainment.). That millions of people will pay to see it is a horrifying confirmation that their diagnosis of human nature may be correct. Zombie/vampire movies say that human nature can do such horrible things after being transformed through some reverse resurrection.

Resurrection, as I see it, is raising up a mortal body to an eternal, exalted one. This is really a foundation of Christian theology. Zombie/vampire resurrection takes a mortal body strips it of its soul and drops it into a damned state for eternity. In christian theology resurrection is only possible because of the sacrifice of Christ and is given as a gift, a reward to everyone. In horror movies this godless resurrection is caught like a parasite or disease. It is like AIDS mated with alzheimers and rabies. This damned state usually requires continual feeding and destruction of mortal beings. Instead of being freed from mortal desires and weaknesses, this false resurrection leaves eternal, mindless hunger, without redemption or hope of exaltation. The plot for any zombie movie, except maybe Fido, consists of some normal mortal running/shooting/killing through the attacks of the zombie/vampire while fighting to stay alive. The shocks are when the undead jump out or break in, but the horror is the false resurrection.

This is one trend that I hope fades away. If Connie Willis is right about fads they reach a point where they outgrow their possible support and pop like an overblown balloon. I hope that is the case with both of these horror genres.

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