Psychological pain adds a new level to scary

By Amanda Castro-Crist



I love scary movies. Some of my favorites are movies like 28 Days Later and Insidious. I like the first because really, I like anything that includes some type of zombie and the second because of the amount of times it made my sister and me jump and shriek.

But those aren’t what I’m going to talk about today. There’s another type of scary movie that I can’t decide if I like because it scared me so much, or if I hate it because it makes me so uncomfortable.

There are two movies that come to mind when I think of these types of movies: 2008’s The Strangers, written and directed by Bryan Bertino, and 2007’s Funny Games , written and directed by Michael Haneke. I’ll try not to spoil too much, but read ahead with caution.

These films are a different kind of scary. In both films, the victims are tortured not just with physical pain, but with psychological pain. The torturers seem to be trying to cause a mental break in their victims. The suspense in each of the movies is at times almost unbearable.

As if that weren’t enough, in both movies, you slowly come to realize that the people carrying out the torture are doing it out of boredom and have no real motive like other movie-killers. They haven’t been wronged, they weren’t victims themselves. They just needed something to do. At the end of The Strangers, one of the victims, played by Liv Tyler, asks one of the killers why they did all of the horrible things to her and her fiancé.

“Because you were home.”

NO. No, no, no. That is NOT a reason for this madness. You can’t just pick someone to torture and possibly kill because “they were home.” If that’s the case, then you could pick ME.

You could pick me. Eep.

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