A few weeks ago, my friend Mega asked me to watch It on the cinema. Although I thought the movie would be a thriller/mystery, I was a little bit surprised that the movie actually falls to a horror genre. The main ‘ghost’ in the movie takes form as a clown, later known as Pennywise, The Dancing Clown. I, personally, have never really like a clown since I was a kid and would like to define it as ‘disturbing’ and ‘not really pleased to look at’, but never really fear it wholeheartedly. But aside from all the spooky and scary things, I find the movie is quite interesting from the way they approach the word ‘fear’.
I’m not trying to review the movie but cannot avoid spoilers as I point out some of the things I enjoy. So if you’re a no-spoiler-movie-goers like myself, I hope I’ve warned you enough.
The kids on the movie, seeing a different form of Pennywise as their biggest fear. A plague man, a shower of blood, a burning man, a woman from the painting, etc. Unable to define Pennywise as one thing, they decided to call it as ‘It’. I wrote a couple of posts about fear before in disordered lines and disorganized words. I agree, that we need to name our fear.
If you’re familiar with the Harry Potter series, you might notice the same thing happens when Dumbledore asked Harry to call Voldemort by his name instead of You-Know-Who.
“Sir?” said Harry. “I’ve been thinking… sir — even if the Stone’s gone, Vol-, I mean, YouKnow-Who —”
“Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
Philosopher’s Stone, Chapter 17 – The Man With Two Faces
(image from FX)
In a different universe, American Horror Story just started its 7th season titled Cult. Unlike the previous installments, the story is centered around present time without supernatural elements on it. The timeline starts right after 2016 US Presidential Election where a group of people tries to spread fear around the neighborhood. The series dwells on people’s mental health and phobias, introducing a list of clinical term of fear.
To name a few, the series is already mentioned Coulrophobia (fear of clown), Feretrophobia (fear of casket and buried alive), Trypophobia (a fear of irregular tiny holes, like corals, beehives, etc), and Agoraphobia (fear of being somewhere you believe to be unsafe). This medical approach exactly reflects the same thing, we need to name fear in order to beat it.
Fear itself does not always take form as an object, but it can be a future endeavor or new adventures. Something beyond our consciousness and logic. By naming fear as something else, we contain unknown things in a word and bravely say the word as is, consciously admit its existence. This approach, I think, is a step forward to victory.
Have you watched something that intrigue you lately?