Today is a day that has great significance in the Western world. It grew out of all sorts of mystical traditions, has a lot of folklore attached to it, and brings fleeting joy to people worldwide. I’m talking, of course, about Candy Cosplay Day. On October 31st, especially in the evenings, people worldwide use the day as an excuse to dress up as various fictional/nonfictional characters, and many of them also take the time to devour large quantities of candy. Some of them go to parties and inevitably try to get shitfaced. True story. I could go on for quite a while about the commercialization of traditional holidays, but you know that’s happening, and I probably wouldn’t add anything new to the subject.
So, in an attempt to do something loosely themed around the season, I watched a horror movie, specifically Hellraiser (1987). It didn’t really horrify me, since I’ve been desensitized to violence and gore by video games, but I did find the movie entertaining for all the imagery and ideas it pushed around. Those only familiar with Pinhead and the iconic Cenobites might find their relative lack of screen time disappointing, but apparently they weren’t emphasized until the later sequels. Probably worth noting is that the movie doesn’t really deal in suspense and the uncanny as much as your ‘traditional’ horror films (to the best of my knowledge), but it DOES have the heavily moralistic overtones you’d expect from a slasher, especially one with what are essentially BDSM freaks from another dimension. In overly simple terms, said moral is “Don’t be like Frank Cotton” – the mainest of the main characters, and one consumed by his obsession with earthly pleasures. The average reader is probably thinking “I’m not like Frank!”, and hopefully, that’s true. Still worth thinking about.
With all that moralizing out of the way, it’s probably worth noting how many sequels the film has, as well as their general disrepute with the public. Horror films always seem to get assloads of sequels for whatever reason, while your average franchise doesn’t last as long. In addition, many original horror scripts have famous brands attached to them, apparently to boost sales. I don’t understand it, but whtaever. Hellraiser’s sequels have taken it all over the place, but one idea that I find interesting (and unimplemented as of yet) is humanity becoming massively aware of the Cenobites and declaring war on them. Keep in mind I’ve only seen the first film, and that later entries in the series apparently make the Cenobites immune to most human weaponry, so either the humans would have to get very creative, or retcons would be in order. Anyways, I find the idea of humans attacking what is basically their id amusing, but then again, I’ve read The Salvation War, so I probably have a thing for people getting uppity and attacking supernatural beings.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy(ed) your Halloween. “Merchandise Driven” is also up on Fanfiction.net now, so there’s more food for thought (or at least a quick laugh).