“Fighting Back from the Inside” drawing by Maranda Russell
Written by: Maranda Russell
I took fear by the hand
and shook him until I heard
the sound of his yellow bones
popping in and out of place.
I pushed him down the stairs,
his skull cracking
against the white, stone steps
on his way to the finale.
He hit the basement floor,
his form a worthless gray lump,
emitting the mocking voices
no muzzle can silence.
Still, I must close the door
at least one more time
and pretend not to hear.
So I do.
This weekend I’ve been catching up on my horror movies. Last night I caught a flick that was obviously a SAW knock-off and another movie called “The Bunnyman”, which was about a killer who dressed in a bunny suit (yeah, it was about as scary as it sounds). Tonight, I am watching a movie about spoiled, ungrateful grandkids and their dead grandmother who wants to get revenge for being ignored all her life. Not sure how that one is going to turn out, but guessing that the airheaded girls the boys brought over to party are going to die pretty soon.
Anyhow, catching up on my scary quota has gotten me thinking about the debate around horror movies. Some people believe that horror movies are psychologically damaging and that the violence contained in them encourages violence in real life. Others, such as Stephen King (the master of scary himself) believe that horror movies are just for fun or good for letting off steam. Once I read an essay by King which explained that in his opinion, watching horror movies gives us a “safe” way to get out our baser emotions and instincts so that we don’t act on those feelings in real life.
My opinion is that horror movies are often good for a laugh (many of them are more funny than scary). I also think that horror movies can be a good way to feel better about your own life since (hopefully) you aren’t currently being tortured or murdered. I do think many horror movies are stupid and pointless which may be why I prefer psychological thrillers and supernatural scaryness to the predictable “slasher” flicks. I also prefer ones that have some kind of good triumphing against evil in the end. I don’t really enjoy movies where all the “good guys” die in the end because there seems to be no real resolution. Of course, those are personal preferences though.
So, how do you feel about horror movies?
As a fellow scaredy-cat, I must admit that I really related to Harry, the main character of the new picture book “The Fish Who Swam Too Far”. Written by Danielle Kirrane, this little tale is about a clownfish who is so afraid of the world around him that he refuses to leave his mother’s side. Because of his cowardice, Harry’s siblings tease him mercilessly. Eventually, the teasing becomes more than Harry can bear, causing him to run away in anger. Before he realizes it, he has wandered too far and ends up having to face the very things he had always feared so much.
Before the story comes to its satisfying conclusion, many important themes are brought up, such as bravery, kindness, friendship and family loyalty. Whether your little one is a daredevil or a cautious tike, this story is sure to entertain them and reinforce the importance of self-confidence in every situation, even those that might be scary and new. The illustrations that accompany the text are simple but beautifully done. I especially liked the facial expressions on the characters, it really brought the story to life for me.
If you would like to find out more about this book, please visit the author’s website, http://daniellekirrane.tateauthor.com/. There you will find a link to the book trailer on YouTube, information on where to order the book and other fun stuff like contests and giveaways.