The political party governing Americans has a giant influence on the everyday. Generally, their ideologies are reflected through their policies which ultimately shape opinion and culture. The complicated relationship between a people and their government comes to dictate the fears and causes of a generation (anyone remember the war on terror?), and all the triumphs. However, do the politicians in power even go so far as to determine the monsters in our blockbusters?
Short answer ― not directly. Horror movies work primarily by making the familiar into a strange and uncanny force that threatens to consume us. By preying on cultural fears, good horror movies reflect the uncertainties of the modern era.
That’s often the reason why a horror movie that was endeared by a generation of viewers a decade ago can seem stale to modern audiences. However, certain films’ legacies remain long after their theatrical release and stand the test of time. Although ‘The Exorcist’ came along at the height of the Satanic Panic, the film endures thanks to powerful performances, strong direction, and using that cultural fear simply as a thematic undercurrent.
Thematic undercurrents are those weird little ideas you actually have to think about after you walk out of the cinema. It’s not the type of thing that the movie says to you outright. No, it’s something that is presented once you look a little deeper.
In an effort to look deeper, we here at Outspeak examined the relationship between horror movie monsters and the political party in power. When a Republican is in power we get zombies and when a Democrat is in power we get vampires. Each monster represents the fears of the opposition power.
Vampires represent fears of homosexuality, godlessness, and are typically immigrants. One doesn’t have to look long at Donald Trump or Mike Pence’s policy positions to understand why this fits the bill. It’s clear that vampires with their sexy blood drinking attitudes are a threat to American values. Their eternal lives pose a bigger threat to healthcare than Obamacare.
Zombies on the other hand represent everything a Democrat despises: brainless consumers trained to turn others into their way of thinking. President Obama fought for years so that the American people wouldn’t be mindlessly eating Trump steaks and slowly converting every person in America over to a straight white male world view.
Now that we’ve spent far too much time on the subject, it’s interesting to consider just how President Trump will bring on the new zombie apocalypse. 2017 is shaping up to be a massive for zombies at the box office. Luckily there’s plenty of movies out there for us to watch and learn how to resist.