Well, we're past October once again, and past the spooky season. But I had another thought about
scary stuff - and stories filled with tension and fear is always in season!
One area that is always fun to explore is the paranoia about our the friends, neighbors, and strangers around us.
These are stories where the people around us are not what they seem.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a story that's been made multiple times, in which aliens duplicate people, and we are left not knowing who, or how many people we thought we knew might secretly be a mortal danger to us. The iconic horror movie “The Thing” (John Carpenter version) uses this setup too.
The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street was a classic episode of The Twilight Zone. Strange lights and sights have made the residents of Maple Street realize there are alien invaders among them. Suspicions arise among these people when it appears that one household are secretly aliens themselves. But which
person or family is the secret monster? The population of this ordinary suburban street descends into madness and the neighbors turn on each other in fear and hysteria. The dark comedy “The Burbs” has a touch of this, too.
The allegory here is obvious - the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers was an allegory for the paranoia around Communists/Communist sympathizers decades ago (or at least, it was interpreted that way by many - not sure if that was stated by the author). There are countless things we can mistrust each other for - the hysteria and paranoia about those around us is the point.
I wonder if a new version of this story could be told now - there's more than enough mistrust and hostility between people these days - maybe an impactful new thriller, if it's done right, could help us release a little tension…
See you next time!
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Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 2, 2023
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