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Behind The Mask: The Sometimes Hidden Story Behind Horror Movies

by  |  August 5th, 2011  |  Blog

Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates in Psycho 2

I am very lucky… What I mean by this is that my wife likes a lot of the same types of genre’s that I do (which makes picking Movies and TV shows rather easy…) With that said, despite the fact that she is a fan of Scifi and Action movies, she is not fan of horror movies at all…

With that said, I got to talking with her about why I do love horror movies, and about the some times hidden story that can be read behind the lines…

Now I will be honest and say that there are more then just a few horror movies out there that are really not much more then gore fests, and are good for a quick scare (generally speaking those types of horror movies I am not a huge fan of.)  But with that said there actually is more then a few movies that despite the gore factor actually do have a some times fascinating, some times sad, and heck even some times important message behind them.

I mean some of these movies tell a story about over coming insurmountable odds, some of them ultimately tell the tale of a teenager that has to grow up well before his or her time, etc…

With that said, I thought that I would share a couple of examples that I have seen from these types of movies:

One example is Halloween (1978):

Jamie Lee Curtis (As Laurie Strode) and Nick Castle (As Michael Myers) in 'Halloween'

Now it is true that this movie does tell the tale of an escaped mental patient that goes on a killing rampage on Halloween night in an effort to take out a babysitter and her friends… Sounds like your typical horror movie, eh?

Well believe me this movie is a fantastic movie (as a matter of fact I would go so far as to say that this movie is my favorite movie of all time, that was directed by my favorite director of all time, John Carpenter!) With that said, part of the reason that I love this movie is the story behind this movie (and this series as a whole!) Which for this movie tells the tale of a teenaged girl who after loosing all of her friends must grow up if she wants to survive Halloween night for herself and the kids she is babysitting!

Eventually the story for the whole of the Halloween series evolves to tell many different sides of a tale in which a boy who has gone wrong, is trying to kill off his family, and those family members and their friends who have to over come the greatest evil, and grow up (most of them being usually care-free girls who have been protected by this type of thing.)

For more information on this movie, please enjoy this trailer for the movie, Halloween (1978):


And for more information on how this movie first develops, please enjoy this trailer for the movie, Halloween 2 (1981):

The next movie that I thought that I would mention here is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960):

Anthony Perkins during the Shower scene.

Now Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window) , along with the cast which includes Anthony Perkins (Edge Of Sanity), Janet Leigh (Touch Of Evil) and Vera Miles (In To The Night) in making this movie…

Now what I mean by this is that he really classed up the concept of the film, by instead of making it about a deranged serial killer that prays on the guests at his Motel (which that is sort of it but not really.)

The movie actually makes you feel for ole Norman Bates (Perkins) who is the crazy motel owner!  What I mean by this is as the movie develops you get to see how rough and cruel his mother is and just how his mother ‘makes’ Norman kill women!

With that said for more information on this movie, please check out this trailer for the movie, Psycho (1960):

The next movie that I thought that I would mention here is Alien (1979):

Sigourney Weaver as 'Ellen Ripley' during the scene in which she fights the Alien!

Now Alien is a truly classic film! But from the outside it could look like just another horror/scifi movie in outer space (Which there actually is a fair amount of that, in this movie, but there is also so much more.)

I mean this movie tells the story of a mining crew that is heading back to Earth with a full load in their holds, and that is until they are woken up from their hyper sleep to discover that according to the computer, a distress call had been made, and that the computer has made an unscheduled stop to investigate!

With that said, after they investigate, and one of the Aliens attaches themselves to one of the crew investigating the planet.  They head up to there main ship to head home. The only problem is that an Alien has come aboard!

With that said, this is a great Scifi Horror movie that demonstrates how a group of people are going to have to over come insurmountable odds so that they can survive, in that not only does the crew have to survive the Alien (who is on a rampage to kill everyone on board.)  But this crew also has to deal with the company that they have been contracted to and the fact that the company doesn’t mind if the crew dies, just so long as the Alien survives!

For more information, please enjoy this trailer for the movie, Alien (1979):

With that said, there are so many more horror movies out there that I can mention, (like A Nightmare On Elm Street), but I just thought those were some great films that if you can look past the gore are actually some fun movies with great stories!

The last thing that I thought that I would say folks, if you can look past the gore and see the story behind the gore, then you might find that some of these movies are actually a lot of fun! But also as a side note, if you choose your horror movie wisely, then I think that you might end up being rather pleasantly surprised!


Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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