Tales of Evil and Horror -or- The Films of Wes Craven

The Problem of Evil in Dreams -or- Horror Films and the Collective Moral Shadow 

The philosophical problem of evil has been with us since Biblical times. From a Jungian perspective, evil is found in the individual and collective moral shadow of society. The primary literary vehicles that the International Institute for Dream Research has used to explore this dark moral shadow found in our dreams has been film noir and black comedy. The genre of horror is perhaps more primal than the former two. Horror plays to primal fears of death, the macabre and evil forces. Such tales of horror can be found working in our dreams, here is one of them; 

Herbert, 32 

Something evil was holding me down by my wrist and legs i tried to scream, no sound would come out of my mouth. It was trying to kill me. I woke up sweating and scared.... 

Mr Hagen's Reply: Evil, Nightmares and Screams -or- The Films of Wes Craven 

Think of "The Exorcist" or "Rosemary's Baby", these evil driven horror films create reverberating shudders in our visceral imagination. In "Screams and Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven", Brian J. Robb quotes Wes Craven about his thoughts on evil; "It's part of our nature, part of our life and every religion comes to grips with that. In some form or another it's always there to deal with. Maybe it's at the very core of human beings having free will. If there was no possibility of evil, you wouldn't have any choice to make. The key to my films is not who or what you are, but what choice you make-that's how you define yourself." 

Craven speaking about the genesis of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" states; "There was a series of unrelated articles I'd clipped out of the Los Angeles Times in about 1981, perhaps even earlier." "Over a period of a year and a half, there were incidents of people having severe nightmares, telling their families about them, about how these dreams were worse than anything they'd ever had before. All of them had a similar reaction-they didn't want to sleep again. They were afraid of going back to the dreams. They tried, one way or another, to stay awake. The next time these people fell asleep, they died." Craven's dream killer Freddy Krueger who stalks his victims in their dreams was born. 

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