For various unknown reasons, I have been spending a lot of time collecting data on movies. I am struck by the number of horror films that are produced in a year. It really is too much. I think we can shut down Saw XXXIIV5 and use the money to bail out Greece.

In any case, I have a weird thing where I am terrified of watching horror films but still want to know what happens in them. After looking through all of this movie data today, I started reading short plot summaries of the horror movies in the dataset on wikipedia [also why it will take me 18 years to finish the PhD. So productive!]. This turned out not to be a good strategy as my overly-active imagination conjured up images of creepy ghosts and I will probably never sleep again.

I was struck, though, at how unimaginative all of the movies are. There are two basic plot lines:

(1) Something happens to child at young age. Child becomes nutty and starts creeping people out, haunting them, falling down wells and haunting people, etc. You can’t get away from the child because they can hide in cupboards or something [it is actually unclear to me why you can’t just put the child on one of those child leashes and tie it to a tree. I’ll assume there is good reason]. Also of note is that the child is usually a girl (hmm…)
(2) White man is upset for unsaid reasons and goes Jack the Ripper on everything [sometimes this hits a little too close to reality].

Gruesome as the films may be, these plots really make no sense at all. First of all, if you are an angry child ghost and want people to suffer, you do not need to do creepy things. As someone who has no children, I believe I am authorized to say that children are bad enough as is. They cost so much money, hide in the grocery store which causes parents everywhere to have panic attacks, and spit up cheerios. No need to act like a ghost. Just hide on your parents while they are shopping in target. You will cause damage.

If you must act like a ghost, why do you need an elaborate plot to kill others? Crawling through a TV screen if and only if people watch a movie is inefficient. You obviously have the power to destroy us all. Just do it. Don’t hide in a videotape.

For the white men wielding chainsaws: YOU ARE THE MOST PRIVILEGED PERSON ON THE PLANET. New plan for you: calm down, put down your axe, and go get a job and/or promotion. It will happen for you. No need to be a weirdo.

So really I have nothing to worry about with these movies. If a ghost or childcreep ever comes at me, I will tell him/her to read this blog post. If that doesn’t work, I will jump into a sharky ocean. These nutjobs are always covered with blood or carrying a corpse or slaughtering a chicken or some such, so the sharks will for sure go after them while I make a getaway on a dolphin’s back. Flipper — now that’s an underrated movie.