Things that made horror my favorite genre: Princess Mononoke

I’ve been feeling unenthusiastic about my latest posts, they were mostly random horror film reviews with no substance and I’ve been wanting to write something with a little more flavor. So I decided to dig deep into my younger years to see what are some of the things that really stuck with me and influenced my tastes for books and movies.

First off on the list we have one of the most iconic animated movies “Princess Mononoke” which isn’t technically horror but try watching it as a pre-teen kid and not having nightmares from all those horrific scenes. The movie itself has sort of a childlike innocence much like Miyazaki’s other films which reeled me in initially, but in the same time unleashes this darker and deeper theme which makes the movie that much more memorable.

An enormous boar demon makes his way toward a small village and a young man tries to protect the village from it. He succeeds but ends up being cursed. In order to save his life, he leaves his village and sets forth to find a cure.

 

While looking for the cure he becomes involved in a battle between industrialism and mysticism. On one side the spirits of the forest want to preserve it and keep it safe with the help of a young princess named San while on the other side a group of humans tries to desolate the forest and murder the forest god.

Now at first glance, this might seem like your typical good vs evil story but there is so much more than that. This was one of the things that made me look at things with a different perspective in order to understand them more. Miyazaki manages to show us that both sides have their own values and both sides have their flaws. We begin to sympathize with both of them.  The spirits are beautiful and majestic and just trying to save their homes but some of them are complete monsters while the humans are kind and hard working, loving and friendly while in the same time being greedy and are willing to stop at nothing to get what they want, ignoring the consequences and being short sided.

The show serves as an example of sorts which shows us that we need to learn how to coexist with nature before it inevitably turns on us. What really affected me in this film was how the world was not like it seemed at the start. It was much darker and convoluted. It made me think about a lot of things and it greatly increased my curiosity. I started to dig deeper into things, exploring mythologies and all kinds of creepy creatures, and curiosity is where everything begins.

I know some of you that might read this will say “oh animated movies are not for me they are childish” and hearing that really bothers me. Even the late great Roger Ebert praised it very highly and in his own words said that there are some things that can only be shown in an animated style.  If you are a fan of cinema you will definitely appreciate animated movies, sure there are some horrible ones but it’s pretty much like live action. There are tons of animated films that have so much to offer and are highly praised and loved by even the top figures of the industry. I would even go so far as to say it’s one of the best movies overall and one of the rare ones that deserve a 10/10.

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