Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sexually transmitted horror: Latest Hollywood trend

In the slasher movie era with films like “Halloween” (1978) and “Friday the 13th” (1980), characters who had sex usually died while virgin heroines survived.
The sex-can-be-scary metaphor is a familiar trope in horror movies and TV shows.
In some movies, beautiful women lure men to bed to kill them. Some of these ladies are succubuses who want to suck out their victim’s life force (“Lifeforce,” “Lost Girl”). Others are alien black widows who want reproduce (“Species”). And still others are just plain psychos (“Basic Instinct,” “Gone Girl”).
The latest trend is sexually transmitted horror. In these films, someone has consensual sex and is infected by a demon or turns into a monster.
Now in theaters, the hit movie “It Follows” features an evil supernatural force that follows a girl after a sexual experience.
Last week, on the second episode of the CW’s new show “iZombie,” a woman becomes a zombie after having sex with someone infected with the affliction.
Another example is the 2013 horror movie “Contracted.” One critic said, “Contracted does for sex what Jaws did for beaches.”
Sexually transmitted horror has been depicted in movies before. David Cronenberg’s “Shivers” (1975) is one example.
Usually the sex in these movies leads to pregnancy. An alien, demon or monster gets a woman pregnant with his spawn. Often it involves rape, such as in “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) and “Demon Seed” (1977).
But sometimes it’s consensual as in “The Fly” (1986), “The Fly II” (1989) and “Prometheus” (2012).

Photos: Poster from “It Follows” (top); still from episode 2 of “iZombie.”

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