Horror movies are, and always will be, one of my favorite genres of movies. The unnerving sounds, eerie movements, and startling sights stimulate my thoughts and emotions—to the extent that I begin vicariously living another person’s chilling life. I love the intensity and adrenaline rush that accompany horror movies, in addition to the opportunity to live in a world that is clearly a lot worse than our own. One of the most thrilling movies I’ve seen? The Shining , directed by Stanley Kubrick.

But recently, as a part of a school assignment, I’ve been reading up about the depiction of people with mental illnesses in the media. And I have to admit, what I found out did shock me—not just the truth, but the fact that I hadn’t noticed it in the first place:

When I come to think of it, it shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise. Psycho (1960) , Halloween (1978), Friday the 13 th (2009). All incredibly iconic, yet each equally stigmatizing. There is strong evidence that Norman Bates, the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho , has Dissociative Identity Disorder—for he is shown constantly vacillating between his identity and his dead mother’s identity, in a futile attempt to “bring her back to life”.

Horror movies are, and always will be, one of my favorite genres of movies. The unnerving sounds, eerie movements, and startling sights stimulate my thoughts and emotions—to the extent that I begin vicariously living another person’s chilling life. I love the intensity and adrenaline rush that accompany horror movies, in addition to the opportunity to live in a world that is clearly a lot worse than our own. One of the most thrilling movies I’ve seen? The Shining , directed by Stanley Kubrick.

But recently, as a part of a school assignment, I’ve been reading up about the depiction of people with mental illnesses in the media. And I have to admit, what I found out did shock me—not just the truth, but the fact that I hadn’t noticed it in the first place:

When I come to think of it, it shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise. Psycho (1960) , Halloween (1978), Friday the 13 th (2009). All incredibly iconic, yet each equally stigmatizing. There is strong evidence that Norman Bates, the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho , has Dissociative Identity Disorder—for he is shown constantly vacillating between his identity and his dead mother’s identity, in a futile attempt to “bring her back to life”.

From creature features to haunted house capers, the horror genre has been giving audiences the willies since the dawn of film. Here are our picks for the 10 best of all time. (If you’re bemoaning the lack of, say, Alien or The Fly , check out our list of the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time first—there are just too many excellent films to justify any duplicate entries.)

Where Halloween invented the slasher genre, Scream reinvented it for a new generation, combining horror with meta comedy that skewers years of slasher movie tropes. Scream also revitalized the career of Wes Craven , a founding father of horror who made a name for himself with films like The Last House on the Left , The Hills Have Eyes , and A Nightmare on Elm Street . Still, in the mid-‘90s Craven was trying to move away from the dark, violent cinema he was associated with in an effort to avoid being pigeonholed. As such, he initially turned Scream down.

“The turning point was when a kid came up to me at a film conference or a panel I was on,” Craven later recalled . “The kid said, ‘You know, you should really do a movie like The Last House on the Left again. You really kicked ass back then, and you haven’t done it since.’ I went home and I thought, ‘Am I getting soft?’ I’ve always had this ambivalence about doing violent films, and I’ve also had this other side that says, ‘This is your voice, this is what comes naturally to you. You do it really well, go do it.’ So I called Bob [Weinstein, producer] and off we went.”

Patients in a mental health institution in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, are left without clothes and some complain about a lack of food, the BBC's Focus on Africa TV programme has discovered.

We gained exclusive access to one of the institutions listed in a Human Rights Watch report released earlier this week, which drew attention to the horrific conditions in three care homes in Ghana.

Focus on Africa's correspondent in Ghana, Akwesi Sarpong, sent this report. You may find some of the images disturbing.

Horror movies are, and always will be, one of my favorite genres of movies. The unnerving sounds, eerie movements, and startling sights stimulate my thoughts and emotions—to the extent that I begin vicariously living another person’s chilling life. I love the intensity and adrenaline rush that accompany horror movies, in addition to the opportunity to live in a world that is clearly a lot worse than our own. One of the most thrilling movies I’ve seen? The Shining , directed by Stanley Kubrick.

But recently, as a part of a school assignment, I’ve been reading up about the depiction of people with mental illnesses in the media. And I have to admit, what I found out did shock me—not just the truth, but the fact that I hadn’t noticed it in the first place:

When I come to think of it, it shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise. Psycho (1960) , Halloween (1978), Friday the 13 th (2009). All incredibly iconic, yet each equally stigmatizing. There is strong evidence that Norman Bates, the protagonist of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho , has Dissociative Identity Disorder—for he is shown constantly vacillating between his identity and his dead mother’s identity, in a futile attempt to “bring her back to life”.

From creature features to haunted house capers, the horror genre has been giving audiences the willies since the dawn of film. Here are our picks for the 10 best of all time. (If you’re bemoaning the lack of, say, Alien or The Fly , check out our list of the 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time first—there are just too many excellent films to justify any duplicate entries.)

Where Halloween invented the slasher genre, Scream reinvented it for a new generation, combining horror with meta comedy that skewers years of slasher movie tropes. Scream also revitalized the career of Wes Craven , a founding father of horror who made a name for himself with films like The Last House on the Left , The Hills Have Eyes , and A Nightmare on Elm Street . Still, in the mid-‘90s Craven was trying to move away from the dark, violent cinema he was associated with in an effort to avoid being pigeonholed. As such, he initially turned Scream down.

“The turning point was when a kid came up to me at a film conference or a panel I was on,” Craven later recalled . “The kid said, ‘You know, you should really do a movie like The Last House on the Left again. You really kicked ass back then, and you haven’t done it since.’ I went home and I thought, ‘Am I getting soft?’ I’ve always had this ambivalence about doing violent films, and I’ve also had this other side that says, ‘This is your voice, this is what comes naturally to you. You do it really well, go do it.’ So I called Bob [Weinstein, producer] and off we went.”

Horror In The Mental Institutions by Evette Smith.


Mental Illness in the Horror Genre Fast Anchor Film Festival

Posted by 2018 article

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