Only two days until Halloween - why do the holiday, movies, attractions, stories, etc., that trade in fright find such resonance with us? I looked into this and the bizarre rise of Internet "ghoul pools" on MSNBC.com:
- "It's a dead man's party, who could ask for more?Everybody's coming, leave your body at the door ..." - "Dead Man's Party," Oingo Boingo
Halloween - the night when the dead walk among us in search of Gummy Bears and Snickers bars - has crept upon us once more. Now the second most popular American holiday after its antithesis Christmas, Halloween is a $6.8 billion annual retail harvest for confections, costumes, cards, decorations and party supplies.
EVERY FALL ELABORATELY fiendish haunted houses spring up from coast to coast as civic organizations and theme parks take bloodthirsty glee in simultaneously shocking and delighting millions of cringing paying visitors. And we cannot forget the success of ghoulish popular culture: the weekend's top two grossing box office films - literally and figuratively - were horror spoof "Scary Movie 3," the top October opening ever at almost $50 million, and the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," hacking out another $14.7 in its second week of release. A prequel to "The Exorcist" is underway, while the 1973 original has earned over $200 million. Horror and the supernatural are staples of film, fiction and television.
We love the adrenaline stab of a good spooking - we pay dearly to have the tingle chased down our spines. Why is this? ....
Please check it out if you are so inclined.
I love Danny Elfman's old band Oingo Boingo's Dead Man's Party album, by the way: besides being graced with the eerie but lively title track, this is the quirky, energetic band's most consistently listenable album by far, including "Just Another Day," "Stay" and "Weird Science," title track from the film.