by David Christopher Bell
There’s probably no funnier first-world fear than thinking your stuff might come alive and try to kill you. Then again, pretty much the entire horror genre is based around exploiting ridiculous irrational fears – it’s just that some fears are a little more irrational than others. Your toaster isn’t out to get you.
To celebrate that, here are some of the most innocuous, completely stupid objects that horror films have found a way to demonize (successfully even!):
8. Christine – Killer Cars
Technically speaking, cars are kind of terrifying murderers – but only when there’s someone attached to them. That is, unless you accidentally leave the emergency brake off and it rolls into a baby carriage or something horrible like that. Point is that they certainly don’t chase people down alleyways, right?
Then again, we’re getting those smart cars now – so maybe they can chase people down alleyways at this point. Maybe Stephen King and John Carpenter are prophets. I mean – he kind of nailed it with They Live, so maybe we should fear cars as inanimate killers. Number eight withdrawn.
7. The Wig (Gabal) – Wigs
Yeah, it’s a movie about an evil haunted wig – the hair of which belonging to a jilted lover. Along with creating your standard longhaired ghost, this wig also makes whoever wears it go bonkers. The hilarious end game is when the wig grows to enormous size and launches an attack, only to be thwarted by fire.
While that last part is a little over the top, I have come to discover that a wig can potentially kill its owner – so maybe the fear here isn’t all that unfounded after all. I guess I’ll have to withdraw number seven as well.
6. The Mangler – A Laundry Press
It takes a butt load of gumption to assert that a laundry machine is possessed by demons, and even more to later blame the possession on antacids. Still, when you’re right, you’re right – but boy it would have been better to be wrong – especially at the revelation that a giant factory folder can up and walk.
Of course, putting aside the hundreds of thousands of factory deaths that happen in China alone, it’s silly to think that a machine would come to you. That is, unless it’s a vending machine – which technically kill more people per year than sharks. So I guess this is a valid fear after all. Six withdrawn.
5. Prince Of Darkness & The Evil Dead II – Mirrors
While the first Evil Dead gave us the ever ominous Exorcist-style stopping clock, in the sequel there was far less subtlety. Lamps, books, and pretty much everything in the room just up and trolled our hero character until he relented. Not to mention his mirrored image straight up grabbing him through the glass. Similarly, Prince Of Darkness took this to the next level, turning a mirror into a portal to hell.
Meanwhile in the real world, we all know that mirrors are totally harmless… at least until one falls on you and kills you. So maybe… okay, I guess they have a point with this one. Number five retracted.
4. Poltergeist & The Ring – Television
Televisions have that similar mirror factor to them in that they sort of look back at you while you look into them. At the same time, it’s not like we can’t just break them with hammers. In terms of these films, the threat is usually way too late to prevent – however anyone who has seen the second Ring movie can’t help but wonder why in the world that family still owns a TV – especially considering that TVs fall on and kill an alarming about of minors in the real world.
Heck, just like Poltergeist and The Ring, we really should keep our children away from televisions. I guess fearing television isn’t so crazy after all – I take back number four.
3. The Fog & The Mist – Poor Visibility Weather Conditions
Sure, if you’re driving or riding a bike or operating a jet ski while drunk then visibility matters a lot. However with fog doesn’t usually come pirate monsters or whatever the hell happened in The Mist. These movies don’t so much make the weather condition itself the villain as they demonize what it symbolizes, and yet in reality it’s just water vapor or maybe smog.
Smog is a little harmful, sure – but it never up and just massacres a bunch of people in one day. Unless you count when it totally did that back in November 1953 when smog killed over 200 New Yorkers, and then another 200 people ten years after that – as if celebrating some type of The Fog-like anniversary. From that evidence it might actually be safe to say that ghost pirates absolutely exist and are coming for our gold. So ignore my previous skepticism for number three.
2. House (Hausu) – An Entire House
Anyone who has seen this film probably knows that it hinges on a way, way different definition of “fear” from the rest of these examples. The fear this film creates is more like the amused but helpless and confused fear someone might feel in the last throes of a fatal oxycodone overdose rather than a haunted house. It’s the kind of feeling only the sight of disjointed legs ninja kicking a blood-spewing cat painting can create.
And I’m not even going to brush on the piano scene, especially since pianos can totally kill you in crazy ways. In other words, I don’t see why I should count this – number two – as stupidly inanimate. Withdrawn.
1. Every Scary Doll Movie
Every single goddamned killer doll movie could be solved with a swift kick and a bottle of lighter fluid. Heck, even if they are magical and come back from the dead, it’s not like you can’t keep kicking. Why do we fear dolls so much? I myself own a pull-string clown puppet and, despite his cold and lifeless smile, we’re total buds.
And yet the anti-doll propaganda movement wants us to think all dolls are like Chucky or that one in The Conjuring or Magic or that stupid tricycle leprechaun in Saw. It’s just not true. I mean, sure – there are some bad apples like those Cabbage Patch dolls that ate kids’ hair or those demonic Teddy Ruxpins or that Elmo that told the kid to die – and yes, those are all like… really disturbing examples but- I guess I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Also, I don’t remember taking Dimples out of the closet so…
Number one retracted.
What dumb lifeless things from horror movies scare you?