Monday, August 3, 2009

How the Media Dictates the Way We Describe Nightmares

Spikey told me he had a nightmare, which he described as a combination of Shutter, Ju On, and Fatal Frame. That has gotta be some scary shit, because by night time the next day, I could tell he was still feeling a little disturbed (poor thing). Who doesn't hate nightmares? Even the oldest, wisest person has fears.

Then I went to bed - and had a nightmare, which I would describe as a cross between Final Destination and Blair Witch Project. I still have a vivid memory of it (rarely so), so why don't I share it here?

It was outdoors in the day time. I was sitting on a large round table covered with pink table cloth (not unlike those in Chinese restaurants) with a bunch of people I've never met in real life, but apparently were my colleagues in the dream. On my left was a middle-aged male colleague, on whom I appeared to depend a lot for wisdom and guidance. On my right was a quite attractive and soft-spoken young lady. On her right was another girl with a ponytail, and she was a lot louder. I don't remember what we were talking about, but I remember the girl with a ponytail said something that offended the soft-spoken girl. Suddenly, I had this sense of horror and saw a flicker of wrath in the soft-spoken girl's face. Somehow, in the dream, I knew the girl knew some sort of black magic and could cause horribly freaky harm to whomever she wishes. Then the dream cut into these scary weird symbols and scribblings in more than one colour, flashing by rapidly. One of the symbols looked a lot like the brand logo of the contact lens solution Complete - except the core of the sun looked like a staring eye, and much less cheerful.

At the end of the flashes, I snapped back into the scene at round table, and I heard a younger male colleague a few seats away exclaiming, "Gasp! Did you guys see that?!". The soft-spoken girl turned to stare at him, instead. Then I turned to my left to ask the wise colleague for advise. Before I could, I was awakened by my alarm clock.

It doesn't sound very scary here, does it? It did feel horrifying in the dream, though, like I was really really scared the girl would find out I knew about her "secret abilities", lest she makes me her next victim, or I get dragged into the whole vengeance thing. It's the same kind of horror you feel when you watch Final Destination, the kind of horror that you know you cannot escape from no matter what.

How is that different from horror movies like Shutter and Ju On? In those stories, the victims usually did something to deserve the hauntings, or at least there was an unresolved history that the victims unfortunately stumbled upon. In Final Destination...well, there was no clue as to why they were the victims. They just were. And not knowing what to do to save themselves was the most horrifying part of it all. It's not like they had a ghost to fight. They were up against fate! How do you fight against fate?!

Nowadays, the media has some serious influence in our expectations in life - even how we expect to be haunted. xD

So which one would you prefer?
Haunted a-la Shutter...
...or haunted a-la Final Destination?
P/S: There appears to be a pattern in the difference between Spikey's nightmare and mine. His was based on Asian horror flicks, while mine was based on American horror flicks. Does that mean something? =P

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