In Defense of Werewolves

 

I like a lot of horror movies. Monsters have a way of capturing deeply human problems and making creatures to address those issues with a degree of separation that makes their movies, shows, books enjoyable to watch. For this Her Campus collaboration on the topic of Halloween, I wanted to talk about my favorite type of monster. To me, Halloween is a time to dress up and get candy yes, but more importantly a time to really enjoy and appreciate horror in its many forms. I have great memories of watching horror movies in my living room every once in awhile dawning a mask to hand out candy to kids. Horror as a genre has become sort of a cash grab by the industry. Cheap movies to pump out for a quick buck with no real care for the quality of the movie. I hate this a lot. Horror is one of the most versatile genres we have and should be done with the respect and care it deserves. For the sake of this article, I decided to focus on a specific aspect of horror and show it’s true potential in hopes of inspiring more talented people than me to create great stories with werewolves. I might like to pontificate in articles, but damn do I suck at actually making stories. So I will try to use my pontification for good here and inspire the more creative to use werewolves to their potential. 

All monsters are metaphors. I am not breaking new ground here; it's the nature of the beast for monster stories to be reflections of human problems or fears amplified to the extreme. Zombies for example can be used as a metaphor for consumerism or the fear of disease depending on the movie or Godzilla being a metaphor for Japan’s fears of the effect of the nuclear bomb. Werewolves are of course also metaphors. See werewolves are the fear of losing control, of letting our base animal impulses towards violence get the best of us and the pain it will bring. The interesting thing about the werewolf stories is that the “monster” of the story most times is the protagonist. The true horror of werewolves isn’t being attacked by one, but being one. Knowing that within you is this creature that will hurt people and you are powerless to stop one. Once a full moon hits you lose control, lose yourself and you become overrun by rage. Werewolves are unique since it is worse to be the monster than to be the victim. Imagine waking up covered in blood unaware of what you have done and who you have hurt. Being constantly afraid of yourself and knowing deep down that you are the monster. You are the problem and there is nothing to stop you from hurting more people. The good and righteous people can become werewolves the same way that a murderer can. Werewolves are that fear. The fear of being the bad guy and knowing it with no way to solve it. Werewolves are in essence the fear of ourselves. The shadow, the dark side of you that you don’t want anybody to know about, and that’s why they are such a great monster. Vampires can be the fear of the outsider of the allure of the mysterious, but what is scarier than not being able to control yourself. Which brings me to the point of this article. I don’t think the media around werewolves really reaches this potential. 

Don’t get me wrong there is a multitude of great media surrounding werewolves. However, I think there is so much that could be created if people utilized this core metaphor of the beast. Originally this article was going to be about The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Seriously this is a great movie and the only reason I am not writing about it is that a lot of my thoughts on the movie involve spoilers and I would much rather people watch it with no expectations so it can affect you the way it affected me. There is this Webcomic called Night Class about werewolves which are also very good and I already mentioned Fangs in an earlier article. Nevertheless, my point still stands that true horror movies about werewolves are not as prevalent as that Twilight sort of interpretation of werewolves. That kind of for the lack of a better word toothless sort of movie were werewolves aren’t this rich metaphor for the fear of our dark side and instead just big dogs. Twilight is a perfect example of this with Jacob just being a dog guy who inexplicably loves Belle or like Teen Wolf which is just kinda weird and doesn’t make sense. Even True Bloods have lycanthropy making Sam turn into a literal dog. For those True Blood fanatics who want to tell me that sam isn’t really a werewolf or whatever please send all opinions to [email protected]. The only thing I wished to accomplish from this article is to have talented people make great stories about werewolves and maybe send me a free copy, but that is up to you. 

In conclusion, Werewolves are a great metaphor for the fear of losing control and deserve media that captures that theme. Vampires have Dracula and all I want is for werewolves to have their icon. So please all you much more talented and cool people out there write your stories, draw your comics, sing your songs, and make the next spooky sensation.  Also, a random fun fact I bought a werewolf mask about five years ago at a drugstore for like 10 bucks and have been using that for Halloween ever since. So I hope my ramblings got somebody inspired and have a good Halloween even though this is probably going to be published way after Halloween.