Monsters in horror are used to represent many things: the alienated, the other, the Id, the anti-social, catharsis, paranoia, family, friends, our wildest fantasies and deepest traumas … the list goes on and on … but middle management? That’s a new one.
It’s commonly arugued, that in tough financial times, zombie films tend to rise in popularity, finding a new audience. Take Romero’s sophomore zombie effort, for example.
"Dawn of the Dead. The original Dawn of the Dead. It doesn't get any more realistic because he really nailed it. The notion of the societal collapse, the slow decline. That scene where they are watching tv and they're all arguing, literally, that's CSPAN over the present budget crisis. He nailed it 40 years ago,” Max Brooks told FEARnet.
Marketplace.org took Brooks' argument one step further and explored what other movie monsters say about money. The financial breakdown is below, plus helpful examples from our favorite movies.
Zombies – Night of the Living Dead
"The walking dead are the embodiment of the 'poor, working stiffs.' Because zombies can't help what has happened to them, they are symbolic of everyday laborers. They don't call the shots, but rather are the ones trapped at the bottom of the pyramid, representing the dispensable work force."
Werewolves – The Wolfman
"What happens when the wealthy stray outside their lifestyles of comfort? They're often exposed to experiences that can change them for better or worse. In many horror films, people are bitten by werewolves when traveling abroad or to exotic locations. When these jet-setters return home, they have trouble adjusting. Werewolves represent the inability of the upper class to accept the primitive nature within all of us."
Ghosts - The Amityville Horror
"Phantoms are obsessed with property: Just think about it, most ghosts haunt a specific house or piece of land. They inhabit places in the earthly world with unfinished business. Haunted houses don't fetch much on the open market, after all."
Aliens - Xtro
"Extra terrestrials are usually smart and powerful -- sometimes, they're even portrayed as superior to humans. Adjectives like those can be used to describe both aliens and your boss. In horror films, humans fear that aliens are more technically advanced and will take control of us. But because aliens don't recognize human emotions, they make decisions solely based on numbers and facts -- much like a middle manager."
Vampires – Interview with a Vampire (c’mon, Tom Cruise’s hair!)
"Donald Trump of movie monsters, vampires represent the pompous, upper crust of horror creatures. They are aristocratic, powerful, and often physically attractive (this is where they may differ from Mr. Trump). They own property going back centuries and can amass wealth endlessly because they live eternally. These blood-suckers are known to be manipulative, magnetic, and nocturnal -- just like wealthy socialites."