2056: Horror Movies

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Horror Movies
"Isn't the original Jurassic Park your favorite movie of all time?" "Yes, but that's because I like dinosaurs and I WANT there to be an island full of them. If John Hammond's lab had been breeding serial killers in creepy masks, I wouldn't have watched!" "Wait, are you sure? That could actually be good." "Ok, I WOULD watch the scenes where Jeff Goldblum tries to convince a bunch of executives that the park is a bad idea."
Title text: "Isn't the original Jurassic Park your favorite movie of all time?" "Yes, but that's because I like dinosaurs and I WANT there to be an island full of them. If John Hammond's lab had been breeding serial killers in creepy masks, I wouldn't have watched!" "Wait, are you sure? That could actually be good." "Ok, I WOULD watch the scenes where Jeff Goldblum tries to convince a bunch of executives that the park is a bad idea."


This comic is the first in the Horror Movies series, which was followed by 2076: Horror Movies 2 a month later.

Horror movies are a genre of movie or film which attempt to elicit the emotional response of fear in the viewer. Some enjoy that type of movie because it allows them to experience and release that emotion, perhaps as a form of catharsis or release. Others take a more detached view and enjoy watching bad things happen to other people, perhaps deriving humor or enjoyment out of a situation that they are glad not to be in themselves.

White Hat suggest to Cueball that they see a horror movie, and Cueball appears excited and states Sure! I love watching terrible things happen to people and feeling afraid! This is basically the idea about seeing horror movies, so people who like them might make a statement like this if they say they enjoy them. As the caption speaks against horror movies, it's most likely that Cueball is being sarcastic.

Randall comments on this in the caption below the panel saying that he simply does not understand why people would want to watch a movie whose themes and intended emotions are steeped in such negativity. While he fully admits he is criticizing from a position of ignorance (and tries his best not to think less of horror movie fans) he still cannot wrap his head around them.

In the title text a conversation between Randall and a friend goes on, as the friend double checks that his favorite movie of all time is Jurassic Park. This movie could be considered a "horror" film as there are elements of fear and terror, especially when the dinosaurs that Randall loves so much are chasing and eating humans. However, this movie type is usually placed in the adventure or science fiction genre. Randall agrees that he likes it, but instead of claiming that Jurassic Park isn't a horror film, replies by saying that he likes dinosaurs and actually wants there to be an island full of them. He then continues by giving an example of an alternative premise for Jurassic Park which maintains the horror aspect of the film by removing the dinosaurs and adding serial killers instead, and that type of movie wouldn't appeal to Randall. An amusement park about "Serial killers in creepy masks" refers to the movie trope from the Scream, Halloween and the Friday the 13th series of films, among others. The friend then states that such an idea would be really great for a horror movie. While Randall may not agree, he could see the humor in watching Jeff Goldblum (who portrays Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park), in the scene where his attempts to prevent the "brilliant" idea of breeding serial killers as an amusement park attractions from coming to fruition, fails! This of course also fails in the case with Dinosaurs in the original movie, but how could Jeff fail to convince people about the bad idea in breeding human serial killers for an amusment park? It is that scene, and only that, Randall would like to watch from that alternative movie.


[White Hat and Cueball are standing together and talking. White Hat points at Cueball who has raised his arms.]
White Hat: Wanna see a horror movie?
Cueball: Sure! I love watching terrible things happen to people and feeling afraid!
[Caption below the frame:]
I know everyone's into what they're into, but I have never understood horror movies.


In early issues, Randall frequently referenced his fear of velociraptors based on watching Jurassic Park as a kid.

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Horror is about my least favorite genre of film. Westerns rank around the same. I find both pretty boring, though there are some suspense films, when done right, that I do like. -boB (talk) 17:55, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree about horror but the Western A Fistful of Dollars and some more by Sergio Leone are on my personal top movie list. --Dgbrt (talk) 18:02, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I can enjoy almost any genre if its a humorous spoof of the genre. I love Blazing Saddles, for example. And there are rare examples in genres that can appeal to outsiders. I may have to give Sergio Leone's movies a try. -boB (talk) 18:13, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh, from the Dollars Trilogy you should start with the third, running three hours and still the best. And for comedy horror this is a widely unknown great one: Little Shop of Horrors (film). Check the cast. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:00, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

Early XKCD issues frequently referenced Randall's fear of velociraptors. There hasn't been a reference to this fear in many years though. Did Randall forget this trope? Is he no longer scared of dinosaurs? 19:55, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

It could be he hasn't encountered a velociraptor recently and has therefore lost his fear. -boB (talk) 21:04, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
It could also be he has encountered a velociraptor recently but she was friendly and assured him humans are not among her prey list and she just eats evil T-rex professors who screw around with the speed of light. 10:47, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
I've always seen it as a LOVE for velociraptors, not a fear, that he's often brought them up. As Jurassic Park has told everybody they're killing machines, it makes the most sense to mention them in regards to attacks. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:24, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

I understand the idea: I don't care about horrors, but I like fantasy and sci-fi movies and was never stopped by someone classifying some fantasy/sci-fi movie as horror ... like in case of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Exorcist ... or Underworld, Constantine, Alien ... wait, is Alien classified as horror or not? -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:34, 8 October 2018 (UTC)

Alien is quite surely a horror movie, I would say. Aliens (=the second movie) sets a different tone and includes elements of an action movie. Sebastian -- 06:47, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
You'd like Sunshine then. Personally, even that had too much horror for me. -- 11:17, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

If we take it as reverse analogy, the title text hints he didn't liked/watched the part where Jeff tried to convince the executives to build the park in the original movie, as it was observed as a Horror part for him. --Nachuo (talk) 06:41, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't think the explanation should say that Randall is the one talking in the title text. I have to assume that that is still a conversation between Cueball and White Hat. I doubt Randall is talking to himself there... 14:26, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

You are right, it's a conversation between Cueball and White Hat. But as it's explained before Cueball represents Randall, not uncommon at xkcd. --Dgbrt (talk) 20:59, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Haha, I'm totally with Randall on this one. I just don't get horror movies. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
--Sensorfire (talk) 17:40, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

There's actually some serious research which had been done. In most case the pleasant sensation some people experience, comes from "watching terrible things happen to *other* people". i.e.: it's due to their brains suddenly realizing that *they* did not get any horrible thing. It hapenned to someone else and they managed to "survive" it. 17:26, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree too, don’t much like horror movies, but have been intending to watch Jurassic Park for the science and dinosaurs, despite the horror theme. I think the part of the book that stuck with me the most was the idea of “what could they possibly be doing with THREE CRAY 1 SUPERCOMPUTERS?!” 😜 PotatoGod (talk) 18:41, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Why am I getting deja vu? Is there a similar xkcd comic or a similar joke on another comic? 01:37, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

A recent edit changed it from Cueball being sarcastic in his supposed enthusiasm for horror films, to one where he is a genuine fan. I believe this is incorrect, and he really is being sarcastic. But I didn't want to change it back without some discussion. Who thinks Cueball is a fan, who thinks he's just being sarcastic, and who thinks we should try to include both theories in the explanation? -boB (talk) 13:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

I'm coming around to the idea that he's a real fan. Since I'm not, I just assumed he was being sarcastic. :-) I've added that possibility and tweaked it a little. -boB (talk) 14:28, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I believe your first impression was correct - to me, the caption reinforces the idea that the response in the comic panel is a sarcastic answer to White Hat. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 14:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm 100% certain that Cueball is being sarcastic. Tarcas (talk) 15:44, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
He's being sarcastic, no question. Him being sarcastic fits in with the caption. AND the title text, sarcasm means the conversation is simply continuing in the title text. Plus Cueball is generally the "on-screen" representation of Cueball, him being sarcastic would be Randall being sarcastic, which, again, fits in with Randall's sentiment in the caption and title text. :) You've fallen prey to the usual ExplainXKCD fallacy of introducing doubt and uncertainty where there is none, LOL! And I SO agree with Randall on this comic, and I have the added thing that horror movies don't work on me anyway (even if I WAS interested in getting scared), outside of cheap jump scares. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:24, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
In this case Cueball doesn't represent Randall but a typical horror fan; his statement illustrates Randall's perception of the fundamental absurdity of horror fandom. He's a nice guy who can't imagine taking pleasure in other people's distress or the sight of gore. 22:10, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

The idea of breeding an island full of killers is actually a good description of the horror movie The Brood.JeroenRL (talk) 14:10, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't really agree with the section that says Randall admits he's criticising from a position of ignorance. He's shown that he's not ignorant of horror movies, he merely doesn't understand why they're popular. 15:22, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

"Death, uh... finds a way." -Ian Malcolm, Serial Killer Park --Electro-- 05:28, 17 October 2018 (UTC)

On the strange popularity of horror movies: a morbid fascination with violent events makes sense in the dangerous ancestral environment. People who listened with rapt attention to stories of terrible things happening to other people would have been more likely to avoid or survive them. The guy who said "I don't care to hear about the lion attack in such gruesome detail. It was a terrible thing that happened and it makes me feel afraid," was less likely to escape the next attack, and less likely to have become your ancestor. Today's entertainment is yesterday's education. Bob Stein - VisiBone (talk) 14:57, 28 October 2018 (UTC)