The Wheel and Axle

Tag: Train to Busan

Mob Mentality

by on Sep.05, 2016, under Film & TV, Society

As my mentor Jessica taught me when I was developing my aswang novels, the best monster stories work on three levels… and I quote her notes to me back in 2013, “the horror tale, which should be scary/creepy as hell; the psychological, in which the monster embodies some part of the protagonist’s character that he denies or is not aware of; and the metaphorical, where the monster symbolizes some social reality. Hence Frankenstein: homicidal monster, creator with a god complex, the Industrial Revolution.”

Indeed, all the blood and gore and creep factors are great, but what elevates a tale are the added psychological and social dimensions that provide a richer experience for the audience. Otherwise, it’s just blood and gore and creep factors. This is why the likes of Dracula, The Vampire Chronicles, Lovecraft’s works, Stephen King’s novels, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Penny Dreadful, Ringu, and Ju-On work so well. In the Filipino context, we see these layers in Ang Pamana: The Inheritance, Patayin sa Sindak Si Barbara, Sigaw, SRR2’s Aswang, Yanggaw, Dagim, and Trese, among many others.

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