Friday, November 5, 2010

The Horror, The Horror

Having watched a few horror movie/ghost stories over the last couple of weeks - for research purposes - it appears there are some unusual recurring themes:

1) Every child in America under the age of 12 can see dead people.

I mean, who knew? Has there been research conducted into this phenomenon given its prevalence? Can I get funding for such a study? Do the ghosts have their own think tank happening to counter this?

Damn Harry, if only that bratty six year old couldn't see us, we'd be scaring the bejesus out of the entire neighbourhood.

I'm working on it, Mildred. The kid's got some sort of supernatural x-ray vision thing that's foolproof.

Thank goodness the parents are as thick as two planks and have no idea of our existence.

Don't get complacent, dear. It always wears off in the Third Act.


2) When a child becomes a ghost it MUST have long black, seaweed like hair that covers its ENTIRE face.

Clearly, all hairdressers go to heaven when they die. Let's face it, the dripping wet, seaweed chic hairstyle is getting kind of old. Someone down in the fiery bowels must have at least done a TAFE course, no? It's not like they'd be short of hot air to do a little styling between hauntings.

3) Revenge is a dish best served... with dollops of confusion and lashings of misdirection.

Okay, so I find myself a ghost having been tragically ripped from my mortal life by some heinous act. What to do about the perpetrators of my violent demise? Find some innocent and confuse the shit out of them, of course! By presenting cryptic clues, hostile gestures, physical torment and general mayhem. Why I would do this when I am fully capable of taking care of business myself as demonstrated by said supernatural abilities is beyond me.

Take Gothika for example. The female ghost (disconcertingly BLONDE which was the biggest twist in the whole film) possesses Halle Berry (and who hasn't wanted to do that at some stage?) - who is innocent - so she can butcher her husband - who is decidedly not - and scrawl a cryptic message in blood on the wall that ultimately hints at a co-conspirator. Poor traumatised Halle eventually kills the second baddie after being locked up in her own mental institution, cut 30 something times by said ghost and generally had the shit kicked out of her. Oh, and she found another girl trapped in her husband's downstairs fun house.

My question is this? Why didn't said spook kill said bad guys itself and write Halle a polite note that was a bit more helpful re the trapped girl? If it had to be in blood so be it. But really, don't they have career counselling in Hell for vengeful spirits about how to gain a little closure?

4) The three scariest things in the entire universe are:

i) A telephone ringing - I suspect this is because people fear it could be the ghost of a long dead telemarketer ringing to see if you'd like to change your telephone service provider.

ii) A precocious child - because this clearly is a sign they have been possessed by Satan and are going to paint the rumpus room with your gizzards.

iii) Renee Zellweger in a horror film.

So I'm thinking I need to write a ghost story about a kid around the age of 12 who is bullied and ostracised by all the other kids because he CAN'T see ghosts... and when he eventually does, the ghost turns out to be Renee Zellweger - with a crew cut - who was killed in a freak telemarketing accident and uses a powerpoint presentation and flowcharts to explain that said kid's father, the CEO of the off-shore telemarketing company - who was once a precocious child - is still possessed by Satan and manufactured the whole thing.

That would work, wouldn't it...?