I’m all for Halloween horror. But don’t make people with mental illness into monsters

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I live with severe mental illness and enjoy a good horror film. So please drop the lazy, scary cliches about anyone who’s different

I love horror films. I’m not ashamed of that, yet saying it still feels like a slightly dirty confession. That’s because I also experience severe mental illness, and I want to see people like me represented fairly. Most horror films are designed to do the exact opposite. Ever since Dr Caligari first appeared in 1920, horror films have tended to exaggerate the faintest sign of being psychologically “different” into something threatening.

I feel cheated by the way horror leans on lazy cliches when it comes to representing people experiencing mental illness. It is especially concerning as films are hugely effective mass communication devices, and many people’s first contact with severe mental illness is through film.

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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