Horror films today are not like the ones that scared our parents or grandparents. The films that scare us today reflect many of the current fears of society – global pandemics, destruction of the environment, crime or racism. Fears of war and nuclear weapons influenced many of the horror films in the 1940s and 1950s – from War of the Worlds to Godzilla. Zombie films play on fears of epidemics, while drastic climate change was the subject of The Day After Tomorrow.
Class discussion: What are your greatest fears – nuclear war, climate change, pandemics, shooters in schools? Do any current movies reflect any of your fears? Do television dramas, talk shows and even news shows exploit our fears to boost ratings? How do politicians use the public’s fears to get elected or push they’re agendas? Do companies – gun makers, drug makers – use fear to sell their products? Would you rather be scared by films than by real life?