Psychological films use mental disorders like an ins- trument to work their way into our brains and connect with us in ways we don’t even realize.

Over the years we’ve seen a ton of different genre’s of Horror films. There’s slasher, monster, zombie, super natural, found foo- tage, sprinkle in some vampires and a deadly virus, the list can go on and on. When it comes to both box office success and critical acclaim though, the one that has been the most cap- tivating and consistent of them all is Psychological films. This is for good reason. Of course stories about the apocalypse or a maniac serial killer can be entertaining, but they’re not usually made to connect with us on a deeper level.

Take a movie like M. Night Sh- yamalan’s Split, he took an illness known as D.I.D (dissociative identity disorder) injected it with steroids and made easily one of the years best and most profitable films of 2017.

Now you might not have 24 personalities living inside you, one of them being a super-villain, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect to characters that lose their innocence young and are never the same.

Now take a film that was just remade this past year called Jacob’s Ladder where a war veteran comes home and suffers from PTSD that causes him to lose his sanity.

“IF YOU DO SUFFER FROM A MENTAL DISORDER I HOPE YOU’RE ABLE TO TAKE FILMS ABOUT IT AS A COMPLIMENT.”

The most common age for people suffe- ring from PTSD is their early twenties which means even a relatively young audience can already relate to all types of trauma weather they fought in the war or not. Go way, way back to the 1960 film Psycho. Those that suffer from schi- zophrenia will be the first to tell you that it’s not as over the top as films portray it. But take a lonely momma’s boy that loses her and can’t find a way to cope with it. Obviously dressing up like her and thinking she’s still alive is far from healthy, but the sadness and pain that can lead a person into such a dark place is far too relatable. If you do suffer from a mental disorder I hope you’re able to take films about it as a compliment. Horror films dramatize mental disorders to an extent far different than reality and even still audiences can’t help but relate. If your average viewer can connect with Kevin Wendell Crumb, Jacob Singer and Norman Bates, then they can connect with anyone. No matter the disorder we’re all “nor- mal”. Otherwise these films wouldn’t have to exaggerate so much in order to keep us entertained. Nobody’s as sane as they want others to believe, movies like these are just a fun way to bring that to light.

About the Author: Robert Napolitano

Robert Napolitano

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