Are we Afraid of Reproducing?

It’s interesting how horror movies reflect the mores and fears of a society.  In the last several years, I’ve noticed a trend in horror movies that may point to some disturbing trends in our society.  The 80’s saw the slasher films in which students engaged in illicit sexual activity were brutally murdered, which showed a societal fear of the consequences of promiscuity and non-monogamous sex (especially understandable in the era in which AIDs arose).

But we also have a different fear that has actually been present since the 60’s.  This is the fear of children.  Have you ever been freaked out by scary babies or children in movies?  Have you noticed the creepy scenes where a zombie baby is the scariest part? This, I think reflects a fear that our society has of having children.  And its understandable to some extent, for us to be afraid in this way.  Before modern medicine, having a baby was one of the most dangerous things a woman could do.  Countless lives were saved just by the invention of forceps.

Maybe baby horror is tapping into this basic fear.  But I’m not sure this is the case with modern baby horror.  First of all, it seems that pregnancy would be the object of fear and this would manifest in our horror in some way.  But the scary thing is babies.  The scary part is actually successfully delivering the baby in scenes like this:

The baby itself is scary.  But the unrealistic nature of a zombie baby threat (or of any baby being any kind of real threat) makes me think this is something like when we decided to have evil slashers represent the dangers of promiscuity in the age of AIDS.

But there’s other things that baby horror could be.  Baby horror might just represent that babies are something which represents innocence to us, and that the thought of a possessed or zombified baby is that much more horrifying to us.  But it might also be the more scary to us because we have a latent fear of reproducing.  This would fit nicely with the change that happened as a result of the sexual revolution.  After the sexual revolution we stopped conceiving of children as a goal of sexual activity but as a dire consequence.  Perhaps our baby horror reflects this cultural shift.  I’m not sure, but this at least seems to be are reasonable interpretation of the existence of baby horror.

It’s even weirder that there is a lot of horror coming out lately that has to do with being happily married.  Anyway, what do you think is the reason we find baby horror so scary?
Let me know in the comments.

Peace be with you.
-JS

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