Tag Archives: Hostel

In the classroom: horror movies as harsh moral lessons

One of my creative writing students wrote a vivid, immediate, gruesome short story. At the end of our workshop discussion about the story, I turned the conversation to horror movies as moral lessons.

I asked how many had seen the horror flick Hostel. About a third of the class had seen it. I hadn’t, but I knew the basic idea.

Another student, referring to the starting point of the movie, said, “I’m not going back-packing in Europe anytime soon!”

“What’s the premise of Hostel?” I asked the class. “Trying to hook up with strange girls in a strange place!”

Some of the students made the connection.

I mentioned I had once written an article about horror movies, in a general sense, serving as morality tales:  “The idea is, teenagers are alone together in a way their parents don’t want them to be, and just when things get interesting, the boogey man kills them,” I said.

More of them seemed to get it.

“You don’t want Jason running you through with a big knife, so keep your pants on!”

They laughed.

“So on that note, have a great Spring Break!”

They laughed even harder, and eagerly left the classroom.