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Consider this list of horror movies with terrifying basements, then consider these 4 that carry impactful social commentary:
Parasite made waves when it became the first-ever foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The award was justified, too; Parasite entranced audiences and critics alike, and a large part of that entrancement comes from the fact that Parasite isn’t just telling a story. It’s also making a statement.
In Parasite, the true horror doesn’t stem from an individual, but rather from the classism that encompasses the entire setting. The basement apartment the Kim family inhabits, which is also called a banjiha, is indicative of the low social rung that the Kim family can’t seem to find their way out of.
One of the most interesting things about A Quiet Place is the fact that the majority of the movie is not in English, but rather in American Sign Language. The monsters are terrifying blind creatures that can only hunt using sound, so the main family turns to using American Sign Language to communicate with each other.
This movie convincingly shows that speech isn’t limited to just the voice. One of the children in the main family is portrayed by Millicent Simmonds, a Deaf actress, who also plays a Deaf character. This has led to many people, both Deaf and hearing, praising the movie for both its scares and its ability to showcase American Sign Language as a true language.
Whether you’ve seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show or not, you’ve absolutely seen something inspired by it. The movie was panned upon its initial release but quickly grew to become an international sensation. Nowadays, it’s well-known as one of the most influential cult classic movies, whether in horror or otherwise.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show inspired a huge wave of punk fashion, with Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s fishnets and corset becoming an iconic look for many people. Additionally, its free embrace of androgyny and sexuality, combined with the original creator’s existence as someone who views himself “in-between” male and female, contributed to the growing LGBT movement at the time of its release.
In Get Out, the horror stems partially from the overthrow of tropes that many people consider central to the horror genre. By pulling audiences in and attempting to make them feel sympathetic toward certain characters, Get Out allows itself to make a complete turn and maximize its shock value once the curtain finally drops.
Many of the tropes that Get Out subverts have to do with race. The movie, at its core, takes American injustices toward Black individuals and turns the intensity up to 11, making it easier to see the terror associated with these injustices. By crafting an “everyman” and turning them into an antagonist, Get Out forces viewers to question whether they’re perpetuating these racist concepts.
A horror movie can do a lot to impact societal awareness. Whether that horror movie chooses to side with traditional narratives that paint mentally ill people as unhinged or chooses to attempt a more sympathetic angle toward certain communities, it’s still making a statement. Some horror movies make statements that are more obvious than other horror movies. Next time you’re interested in watching a movie that really makes you think, consider one of these and really think about the narratives it’s offering.
In case you missed it: Parasite: The Color Of A Careless Hypocrisy
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