Watch any decent horror flick and you’ll come to understand that every survivor and villain(ess) must answer the following questions:

  • How do you want to be seen?

  • What do you stand for?

  • How do you want to relate to the world around you?

To survive, you must learn to be comfortable in chaos.

To thrive, you must willingly give up your peace of mind.

Any sense of being trapped in adversity is an illusion.

We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, or the expectations of others.

  • In The Nightmare on Elm Street, the only way for Nancy to survive is to face Freddy through her nightmares and learn the truth.

  • In Scream (2022), the only way for Sam to survive is through honesty with her sister. She is the daughter of a notorious serial killer. Yes, she’s haunted by visions of her father, but she’s under no obligation to allow him to clutter her perception of the present. Rather than seeing her visions as a curse, she uses them as a weapon; as her motive to become stronger and outsmart the new dangers that may come.

  • In Scream (2022), Amber (the villainess) taught us that in the end, life goes back to where it all began. If you don’t like the chapter of the story you’re living, create a better sequel (or requel) to the current story of your life.

  • The Night House teaches us that our personal darkness and unresolved conflicts can be more brutal than any slasher movie villain. We can't avoid getting hurt or facing the darkness in life, but we can choose faith over fear to weaken its hold on us. We must all find new things to laugh about, love, and fight for, eventually. Out with the old and in with the new.

  • Hereditary portrays the struggles of individuals with mental illness and how our upbringing and circumstances shape us. We may sometimes lose our personal agency through tragedy, what with the accompanying grief, guilt, and fear that shape our worldview. There’s no objective reality. We can't outrun everything, and some things always catch up to us.

It's frightening, sure, but these battles are completely necessary. They’re metaphors for the horror people deal with in their actual day-to-day lives.

That's why the slasher motif is so constant.

It’s about taking subconscious fears and externalizing them. It’s the horror genre’s M.O.

Horror’s the garbage disposal of the psyche. We’re churning through our worst nightmares and making a decision to fight. We fight because we’re curious as to what dreams may come from the result of our successes.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that horror movies are a necessary part of entertainment.

You can learn any one specific lesson from a particular movie, but the genre as a whole teaches you that:

  • The more you think, write and communicate, the more ideas you have.

  • The more you run away from or towards something, the more energy you have.

  • The more you rest, the more time you have.

Outcomes demand momentum and action leads to results. If you retreat into your thoughts instead of facing reality, you lose the progress you've made.

*  *  *

As a sovereign individual, you’re always doing something. Always practicing

The question is this:

Are you practicing something that moves you toward greater healing, light, and fullness of expression of the self that you’re capable of being, or are you practicing something that reinforces a (voluntary) legacy of dysfunction, fleeing, numbing, self-reduction and settling for a mean, despairing existence?