The Things that Horrify Me

From April 23, 2008

My mother thinks that there’s something wrong with me because movies like The Sixth Sense, The Exorcist, and so forth, don’t scare me.  In fact, I don’t think there’s a movie that has actually scared me in a long time (since the first time I watched the Exorcist, or Phantasm when I was a teenager).  But today I watched a movie that truly horrified me,


I watched Nuremberg, the film depicting the Nazi war trials.  The scene that troubled me most was a scene in which Rudolf Höss, commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camps was testifying.  He describes visiting Treblinka, an extermination camp, and explains how he was unimpressed with the inability to dispose of the 80,000 prisoners in less than six months.  In the most matter of fact voice I’ve heard in a long time, Höss explains his idea of how to increase that number.  He says that Auschwitz could destroy up to 10,000 prisoners a day and in the years it was operational they disposed of 2.5 million people.  I was nearly sick at this.


This movie is a work of fiction based on real trials, and while the scene may have been dramatized, I don’t think that the facts were.  This is the truly horrible part.


Not many months ago I was reading a Stephen King novel called Lisey’s Story (great novel by the way – I highly recommend it) and found a part in there truly horrific as well.  King is not particularly well known for his stories about non-murderous fluffy bunny rabbits, so horrors are to be expected.  I was not scared by the other world that Lisey and Scott visit, nor the monster that  they encounter there.  What did horrify me were the scenes of interaction between Scott and his brother and father (I won’t elaborate any further for those of you who may not have read the book).


I suppose if spiders the size of Aragog and Shelob are my greatest fear – the atrocities that are perpetrated by people on their fellow human beings are a close second.  Monsters and aliens are nothing when you take into account witch burnings, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, the slave trade – and so many other examples of human exploitation.



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