Friday, 2 August 2013

Fairy Tales are scary stories!!!

Fairy Tales are scary stories!!!
2 August 2013

Forget “Saw”, “Scream”, “I know what you did last summer” and even “Nightmare on Elm Street”.  These are mere child’s play.  Harmless children’s stuff if you like.  Very few scary horror stories can equal or rival the evil brilliance of the humble bedtime fairy tale.

This I know to be true.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out, that some of the greatest screenwriters and creators of movies and stories of the Thriller/Horror genre, got their inspiration from the old fairy tales of days gone by.  Why I bet Stephen King is an avid fan.

Don’t believe me?

The Three Little Pigs – given the references to huffing and puffing and houses going flying, I’m feeling a whole hurricane/twister/typhoon kind of vibe. Think “The Hurricane”, “The Day after tomorrow”, “Perfect Storm”, etc.  Huge catastrophic “natural” calamity.  The whole wolf thing was just a ruse.  A euphemism for global warming if you like.

Hansel and Gretel – surely few things are less scary, than being kept in a cage by an evil witch and being fed fat for the pot.  And here I’m definitely seeing the whole “Silence of the Lambs” movie series.  Though in the movie version, the witch is a man, and is played by Anthony Hopkins.  Cannibalism was clearly the inspiration for this little gem, and what greater source of inspiration than the greatest cannibalistic kiddies story ever told!  Truly inspired!

Cinderella – for the whole Cinderella thing, I’m not seeing your traditional guts and gore Horror movie.  I’m actually seeing one of those sly reality TV series matchmaking programmes.  Possibly the role reversal thing of “Boer soek ‘n vrou” (an Afrikaans series entitled, “Farmer needs a wife”), “The Bachelorette”, etc.  Still equally scary though.  No wait, scrap that.  It’s downright terrifying!

Jack and the beanstalk – funny enough, evil plants have been a concept for quite a while.  Not that I find this truly surprising, as I have my very own personal views on one such an evil plant.  A plant that yields a most vile vegetable – Brussel Sprouts.  Nasty stuff!  And so I don’t find it all that extraordinary or startling that there have been many movies based on horrible herbivorous hellions, namely “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”, and “Little Shop of Horrors”, to name but a few.

Beauty and the Beast – it could just be me, but I think it’s pretty much blatant plagiarism, and straightforward copycat work in action, the way the creatures of X-Men blatantly based “Wolverine” on the Beast.  It is scandalous!  They never even attempted to be subtle about it.  They just downright stole him.  Just like that.  Complete with the outfit and super hairy sideburns.  Not even much of a stab at changing the whole look.   

The ugly duckling – puhleeease!!!  This theme is as old as the hills.  Picture this – giant evil animal, destroys humankind.  So, the little duckling didn’t destroy anything.  Big deal.  That’s only because that simpering idiot, Hans Christian Andersen, caved in the end, to pressures from the outside world (right wing extremists), and rewrote his classic story in a PC made-for-TV-version.  In his original draft, the ugly duckling, ate “bad weed” from the pond.  This somehow turned him into a mutant duck, which continued to show excessive growth.  And given his now ginormous size, he resorted to eating humans and annihilating their world.  Any questions???  So for movie references, I give you “Godzilla”, “Jaws” (they used the same premise), “Anaconda”, “Eight legged freaks”, “Frankenfish”, “The Fly”, “King Kong”, …….

Snow White and the seven dwarfs – the concept of a woman being enslaved to a whole host of untidy and dirty little men.  Seriously – we need some new material here.  And for a modern day version of this tale, you need look no further than “Maid in Manhattan”.  However in the Hollywood version of this classic tale, they decided to make all of the men of normal height.  As it was perceived to be prejudiced and an inhuman infringement of the rights of “little people” to have them stereotyped in this manner (it’s those right wing extremists again – or is it the lefties instead?).

And so I’m sure you’ll agree, that most bedtime fairy tale stories are most frightening indeed.  The raw material of many a horror movie.  And thriller too.

Hollywood studios are rife with remakes of the same old fairy tale stories again and again.  And somehow the Hollywood versions, are slapped with an age restriction, or parental guidance guidelines.  Thereby limiting the potential damage to young, impressionable and fragile minds.

Sleeping Beauty?  Jeez, that one should’ve been slapped with an 18 SNVL warning at least!  Firstly, her “innocent” looking outfit showed loads of cleavage (N = Nudity).  It’s true.  Look at the pictures.  Chances are she worked her wily ways on the handsome prince, who came to give her “the kiss of life” (S = Sex).  The violence bit is thanks to the prick of a needle, on the spindle that was given to her as a gift (V = Violence).  And it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out that her father said a very rude word when he first saw her “handsome prince” (L = Language).

And don't even get me started on that little Red Riding Hood chick
So see?  Children’s Fairy Tales should come with a warning.  It’s only fair.

Especially if you consider the fact that we tell these wonderful tales to our kids, shortly before bedtime, and then expect them to sleep peacefully the whole night through.  Not bloody likely!
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