Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How Movies Are Exposing Real Fear

Since the 2018 Atlanta Film festival is right around the corner I think that it is only right to discuss how metaphors in films and television shows serve as explanations of our certain fears and anxieties. Let’s start at the beginning….

We have a lot to thank American culture for nowadays; the tradition of hot dogs and peanuts at a baseball game, walking around in clown costumes for fun, screaming at our television screens during a football game, and many more traditions that group all of us together. Another thing that groups us together is the fear of failing, or snakes, or getting married. Whether our certain fears can be identified as real or metaphorical fear, our experience of having it is the same. The art of manifesting societies fear in a satirical way through movies and television series; and more specifically stories of tragedy, horror, and sadistic arts is becoming a growing trend. The irony of this fact is that normally in American culture we would to push away scary real life “horror stories” in order to protect society’s fears, but instead it seems as if we are deciding to manifest these fears. In any thriller or film many metaphors in the setting that taken mistakenly as deplorable symbols that fly right over our heads. For example: fog can be linked with blindness or the fear of the unknown. Darkness is linked to the fear of being “cut off” from the rest of the world, damnation. Metaphors especially in television and film serve as explanations.

For example, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The movie in its entirety represents this metaphor of America devouring itself in capitalism. We can see clear political metaphors in themes of horror. For example, the show Black Mirror is clearly extreme political satire, so extreme that it is chilling and makes the viewers want to take action. Another example of satire that is a little less dominant would have to be the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The movie and it’s spinoffs represents this metaphor of America devouring itself in capitalism. For example,  political metaphors in the movie contribute to the idea of extreme inequality is still prominent in today’s society while wealthy gets wealthier. These specific metaphors align a problem but leave the viewers with the restraint of their being no absolute solution. There are many metaphors used in today’s society but the most prominent would have to be the ones analyzed in today’s horror films. Horror story plots are generated by metaphors. Many are so simple they are overlooked as idioms but are understood more through a formula.  The shows Black Mirror, American Horror Story, and Stranger Things are so popular due to their creators ways of strategically becoming this force of cultural integration and uniformity, satisfying the need for the manifestations of society’s fears and anxieties.


Current senior at the Georgia Southern University. I love music (mostly 90's), and I love movies (mostly horror). In my spare time, I like to pretend I know how to dance or I'll watch post production videos on youtube :)
Similar Reads👯‍♀️