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Identity Crisis?

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#1 pagetheoracle



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Posted 13 October 2014 - 04:23 AM

Looking at science fiction and horror film subjects, it struck me that more than 'The Invasion of The Body Snatcher's,' focus on fear of identity loss or not fitting in – in fact this is the main subject of various film genres: The Thing (John Carpenter's version) and Blade Runner come under this heading as does Alien by Ridley Scott. Vampires, werewolves, zombie movies, not to mention films about possession, cover this area; medical dramas too (fear of contagion).


Even class and snobbery (nouveau riche / U and Non-U), crime (imposters, thieves, counterfeiters, fraudsters etc) and politics (faking sincerity) are covered by this heading as is espionage (infiltration, sabotage, betrayal, coded information) and behind that the fear of different beliefs (communism, Islam to name but two instances). Star Wars is about attacking the status quo and Star Trek is about defending it (the law / stability). In TV land we have the Daleks and their dislike of the unlike, plus Cybermen and The Borg, who want to assimilate the different.


Youth and age, science and superstition, Frankenstein's monster and even followers of fashion (wannabes) carry on this battle to conform or rebel against conformity (become unpredictable, through either strange behaviour, new ideas or difference in appearance). Everywhere we look this combat rules our every move or lack of it – to join or not to join, that is the question?


Think of how develop as human beings. We start off as a clump of cells that then turn into a foetus, which like Ridley Scott's Alien, mutates again and again, going through several forms until it turns into a recognizable baby and gets born. After birth it continues to grow and change through childhood until it hits puberty and a new volcanic eruption occurs as it becomes mature enough to start the cycle of another being itself.


Beyond this it develops until it loses its usefulness as an individual and starts to fall apart as in a horror movie (death, the biggest change of all, after birth and becoming). We struggle to get established as an individual or group, then fear losing losing this position in time and space but do so anyway as life isn't stagnant (the only constant in the universe is change, yet we fear it because it alters who we believe ourselves to be – hence identity crisis as a threat to this (death of the old, birth of the new and different – the chrysalis effect).


#2 HydrogenBond



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Posted 15 October 2014 - 07:38 AM

Horror films are popular because they help one to project unconscious processes so they can become more conscious. A projection is where something inside is externalized so it can be made conscious. In the case of horror films, the projection is connected to the shadow side of the personality. The shadow is a blend of instinct and personal unconscious and represent the entrance to the collective unconscious mind. Like a shadow, it follows one around. We may not be aware of this constant companion, which gets darker the strong the light. it may even disappear if the sun is overhead. There is a connection to law of good and evil which define the good (light) but will create a shadow in the process. 


The new zombie phase of horror movies reflects a shadow side that is brain dead, yet blindly driven by base appetites. This is connected to relative morality, animal impulses and appetites, without critical thinking; zombie brain does not work. There is a struggle to fight the mindless zombies, because if they bite, you become a zombie.


In zombie films, pockets of survivors need to be self sufficient, and always in a defensive position. You can't depend on the Government to help since they are also zombies.  One-on-one the zombies are easy to kill, because they don't think but act with predictable impulse. But if there are a bunch of them, one can get outnumbered making them effective; its takes a village of zombies like Hilary Clinton said. 


The old time horror movies usually had one monster at a time, who very powerful, that the people had to face, by finding a hero among (within) themselves. This shadow could be Dracula, Werewolf, Frankenstein. Then the horror movie fad went through a phase of monster plus superhero, like superman and villains. The monsters of the shadow side got smarter (Hitler) but there was still a high moral ground to fight from with the superhero or heroes (go beyond yourself) standing that ground. 


The next main phases was the monsters of the imagination like in the movies Jason of Friday the 13th. The fear was not of this world (not reality) but was connected to unconscious fears and insecurities which have shaped social policies out of proportion to the reality of the situation; global warming.The evil Tea party is a product of the liberal imagination. Te members of the Tea party are full of Jason and other chainsaw massacre monsters than can get you. if you sleep or lack your efforts; imagination. 


Zombies show the shadow now being composed of collective zombie people, without any real heroes who can terminate the invasion, making life of the minority of survivors, a stressful process trying to remain human in a world of relative abomination.  It is the sign of the times. 

Edited by HydrogenBond, 15 October 2014 - 07:53 AM.

#3 pagetheoracle



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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:24 PM

You could also say that zombies represent the mindless masses as to the mindful individuals (Trying to stay awake, unlike the brain dead, who've gone to sleep i.e. don't use their minds to survive, grow and prosper - driven by base and basic appetites as you say).