Welcome to sdarko.com

This is a website dedicated to the fantasy, romance, and horror movie S. Darko.

Traditional and Modern

You have to understand that modern horror doesn’t look like traditional horror films. This makes a lot of sense because the world has changed dramatically in the past fifty years. If you look at classic horror movies from the 1950’s, one pattern emerges. There’s a sense of dread and fascination with things that are unknown, taboo, or otherwise dangerous. This whole idea of some sort of vast territory of the human subconsciousness that is plainly off limits to everyday people traces from the Cold War.

There were certain ideas during the 1950’s that normal average Americans should not bother with. Chief among these, of course, was communism. Following closely was socialism and other ideas. The world was neatly divided into black and white.

This is a great metaphor because this black and white division also applied to the physical color of the people living in the United States. After all, in the 1950’s Jim Crow Laws were the laws of the land. At least in the South, legal discrimination, which separated people based on the color of their skin, their racial group was the law of the land. Depending on the color of your skin, you may not be able to live at a particular side of town. You might not be able to work at a certain job. That was the reality back then.

It was a black and white world in so many different levels. Fast forward to today, it’s a completely different world. People can go wherever they want. If you’re driven, ambitious, hard-working, and you have a big vision for your future, you can rise in society. You can go quite far. You only need to look at the 2008 election of one Barack Hussein Obama to understand what I’m talking about.

The old barriers have fallen. The old walls have been demolished. A lot of this black and white construction of our social economic and political reality is gone. It’s a thing of the past. Interestingly enough, in a world where there are less walls and let’s not fool ourselves here. There are still walls present. If you think about the human condition, it would be sad yet realistic to assume that walls will never entirely disappear.

The Disturbing Pattern

There is a disturbing pattern. Sure, a lot of these traditional walls have gone the way of the dinosaurs. But what replaced them is equally troubling. In a world where we’re supposed to be equal and equity is pretty much high on the list of the most countries’ social priorities, there is a danger of losing identity.

In a world where equality is the top value, what you won’t quickly recognize is that there is some comfort from hard and fast distinctions. There is some sort of confidence one can take from the fact that you can tell what is up and what is down, what is white, what is black, what is in and what is out.

A lot of people are saying that this should not matter. All we should focus is what is in front of us and that we can recreate our reality, recreate our future on and on it goes. It’s easy to understand why a lot of people think that way but unfortunately, the world works according to certain rules. Imagining that these rules do not exist does not necessarily make them go away.

Oftentimes, we have to deal with the world the way it is instead of the way we wish it worked. People will always draw hierarchies. People will always sort themselves out in terms of perceived value. People will always come up with some sort of packing order or organization chart. If you don’t do it, somebody else will. That’s just the way things are. That is an ingrained heart of the human condition.

To think that all of these will disappear, it opens a whole can of worms. This is the precisely the kind of intersection of the modern insecurity that contemporary horror films explore. Back in the old days, you can see who the scary people were. You can easily imagine scary ideas and scenarios. But if you were to play all those movies today, most people would laugh. Most people would chuckle. They’d consider those materials corny, outdated, and irrelevant. But people are still scared.

What people are scared of is definition. People are scared that if they defined things a certain way, that somehow someway they will be found lacking. In other words, they are scared of what other people would think. They don’t want to be judged. They don’t want to be reviewed by people as somehow falling behind.

Who know what people a hundred years from now would think about our own judgments? This is what scares people. This is why a lot of horror movies focus on uncertainty. It is this uncertainty of standing on a knife’s edge in terms of judgment that defines modern horror. It doesn’t arise from your ability to draw neat and tidy lines between good and bad, black and white, and other forms of bipolar philosophies.

Instead, the focus is on are you right? Is this good enough? Are you seeing what you should be seeing? At the end of the day, there is really a paradox. We still believe in right and wrong. Obviously, we’re scared about being wrong and that’s what supplies the tension, and contradiction that makes modern horror quite interesting. It all boils down to a very modern sensibility and point of view when it comes to subject matter and, of course, pacing.


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