The demons under the bed are the ones inside your head

Whenever I watch a horror movie, I don’t think much of it. For me the purpose of movies like these is to give you a scare, an adrenaline rush before you move on with your life. Amidst the lockdown due to COVID-19, I was binge watching yet another horror mystery drama when it suddenly hit me. Every horror story is based on two key components: a past and lack of trust.

The victim in the horror story goes through a series of traumatic events caused by the supernatural being. At first he tries to rationalise the events. Maybe it’s the wind, maybe he was clumsy. But slowly he understands what he’s going through is in fact real and he needs help. He tries to explain this to his family and friends who first treat it as a joke. He will beg for help, but not one person will take him seriously. They will laugh at him, ridicule him, tell him to stop the lying and drama. Similarly all the stories have a plot with a horrifying past the victim is oblivious to. There will always be signs and clues that the victim discovers that are links to the past, but when other people are confronted, they decide to keep mum till the damage becomes very difficult to control. Only after the victim succumbs to the devil or enough damage is done, will they realise that the victim wasn’t lying.

Let’s try to relate it with examples in our everyday life. A teenager feels really low after a recent failure. He thinks things will be better with time and that what he is feeling is normal. But they don’t. He gradually realises he is depressed and asks his parents for help. The parents don’t want to believe it. Of course, if they can’t see the demon, why believe it exists? The poor kid goes through hell alone and gives in to death which is analogous to peace for him or the parents finally decide to call in a real life ghost hunter, a psychiatrist or a counsellor. Turns out, he had a rough childhood and strict parents which developed in him a deep rooted fear of never being good enough. The failure ignited his insecurities. Was it imperative for him to go through trauma before being heard? Is being blissfully unaware or being apathetic always the answer? Unlike what most people believe, if you ignore something it won’t go away, it will become bigger and bigger till you are forced to see it.

All depictions of the horror movies might not be real, but each narrative in its capacity is a real bone chilling story of someone who is constantly battling a demon. Ignorance and indifference destroy lives be it in horror stories or real life. Trust people, choose them for once and help them as they fight everyday to destroy their demons.

Vrushti Mody