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!”
“So on that note, have a great Spring Break!”
They laughed even harder, and eagerly left the classroom.