What Makes a Monster Essay

Submitted By jtoye23
Words: 1167
Pages: 5

Monster Genre Since motion pictures like Frankenstein and Dracula were first introduced on the black and white the monster genre has created unlikely stories of someone or something that is provoked and subsequently hails terror on everything in it’s path. When a monster unleashes terror the result is an exposition of character traits, creating heroes, cowards and mostly victims. Amid the ups and downs of the story most good monster movies have an underlying social commentary. Rarely in films do we see a monster reeking havoc without a cause or motive. Monsters, just like you and I are products of the environment they are exposed to and the treatment they are given from conception. Frankenstein was the first and today there are several noteworthy monster movies that exhibit similar characteristics. In The Host, a North Korean film created by Joon-ho Bong, a volatile creature arises from the city river after a lab scientist illegally disposes of toxic waste down a drain. Similar to Frankenstein, movies like The Host and Beowulf, are both stories of nature and nurture and how both can separately play a role in creating monsters. For example, Grendel (the monster from Beowulf) was brought up living a simple and humble life until local townsmen inexplicably killed his father. Where on the other hand, the river creature from The Host becomes a product of nature after being exposed to hazardous chemical waste. This monster was probably just a normal fish until the chemical it was exposed to turned it into a perilous monster. Since the beginning of the monster genre, audiences have been drawn to the excitement and thrill of watching dangerous minions fall to their doom. Regardless of how any monster is born or provoked in a story the ensuing events will uncover unexpected character traits as it separates cowards from heroes. When an alien-looking creature arises from the Han river in North Korea a detached family comes together and stands in the face of danger to save one of their lost loved ones. The most unlikely characters rise to the occasion when given the opportunity. Considered by his father as a good for nothing slacker, protagonist Gang-du plays the largest role in bringing down the monster. The monster takes Gang-du’s daughter, where she barely stays alive in the creature’s food stow-away down in a sewer. From there, we follow the female heroin as she protects a young boy while her father averts being captured and locates the monster’s body pit. The story comes together in an unusual turn of events that bring the main characters closer together and present common bonds that are often seen in monster and horror movies alike. The emotional journey behind the main characters is almost as common in monster movies as the thrill and fascination that directors use to draw in audiences. Every monster story reveals a hero that most people can relate to in one way or another. Weather feeling unappreciated or looked down upon, at one point or another in our lives we experience a feeling and a desire to redeem ourselves. Part of the fascination that entices audiences is the journey they get to live behind the characters and unexpected heroes. “It’s the rattling-the-tiger-cage kind of thrill.” (Mcormick, Patrick) Although the television might lead us to believe otherwise, no one actually wants to experience a zombie apocalypse or know what it feels like to be faced with life threatening danger. The closest that audiences want to get to that magnitude of danger is to live vicariously through the main characters. “Reading or watching great monster stories, we get to accompany the frightened heroes or heroines as they descend into the dragon’s lair.” (Mcormick, Patrick) In other words, we get to experience the thrill of the situation without facing the same risks as the characters in the story. So in the end, the audience gets to live the thrill and experience the inevitably gratifying downfall of the