2076: Horror Movies 2

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 23:40, 8 November 2022 by (talk) (Corrected the [sic] text about the title text so that sic actually makes sense and is a direct quote from Randall (as opposed to the intended name from the story). Also, Biden sucks.)
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Horror Movies 2
When I was a kid, someone told me the end of The Giver was ambiguous, which surprised me. I had just assumed Jonah died--because the book had a medal on the cover, and I knew grown-ups liked stories where sad stuff happens at the end for no reason.
Title text: When I was a kid, someone told me the end of The Giver was ambiguous, which surprised me. I had just assumed Jonah died--because the book had a medal on the cover, and I knew grown-ups liked stories where sad stuff happens at the end for no reason.


This comic is the second in the Horror Movies series, and is the follow-up to 2056: Horror Movies released a month earlier.

While the first Horror Movies comic was about giving voice to Randall's inability to enjoy horror movies, this comic takes Randall's previous position and exaggerates it.

White Hat and Cueball (as Randall) discuss the appeal of horror movies and tragic plots. Cueball expresses his dissatisfaction with stories that focus on evoking negative feelings. As an example he mentions how he disliked the ending of Titanic where Jack sacrifices his life in order to save Rose. White Hat does not seem to share Cueball's point of view on successful storytelling and sarcastically promises to send feedback to the movie director James Cameron as well as the 16th century playwright and writer William Shakespeare, whose most famous works include tragedies like Romeo and Juliet.

In the title text Cueball (as Randall?) discusses the ending of the science fiction novel The Giver where the fate of the main character Jonah [sic, see Trivia] had been left ambiguous. The joke is a stereotype that the Newbery Medal, a children's literature award, is only given to books with tragic endings. However, the protagonist lives, as there are three more titles in the series, two of which have the main character as a side character. However, those three books are rather obscure.

This was the first of two comics in a row to reference a specific movie genre, this one horror movies, the next one, 2077: Heist, heist movies.


[White Hat and Cueball are walking, with Cueball holding his arms out in front of him.]
White Hat: So you don't like any horror movies?
Cueball: Spooky stuff is neat but I hate jump scares and watching people get murdered. Why would you want to see that?
[Zoom in on the two.]
White Hat: It's like roller coasters. People like experiencing powerful feelings in a safe, controlled setting.
Cueball: But why not good feelings?
[In a frame-less panel Cueball stops and turns towards White Hat.]
White Hat: We've always been into tragic stories. Romeo and Juliet, Titanic...
Cueball: See, that's another thing I don't get!
[Zoom out again as White Hat walks past Cueball who now hold his arms out to the side as he looks after White Hat.]
Cueball: I loved Titanic because Rose and Jack found each other and seemed so happy! I just hated the ending.
White Hat: I'll be sure to give James Cameron and Shakespeare your feedback.


  • In the title-text, there is a typo where the protagonist of The Giver is referred to as "Jonah" instead of "Jonas."

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I always assumed Jonas died too, but apparently the author wrote sequels and he didn't die 15:38, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BackFromTheDead (it's actually rather Not Quite Dead, but the linked article has better info and links the other one.) -- 18:26, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
It feels like this: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeathByNewberyMedal should be linked somewhere. Thaledison (talk) 18:05, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

In my opinion, tragic stories should be about something real that we can learn from. Other tragic media only serve to desensitize us to tragic realities. The proper response to something tragic is to prevent it in the future. You can't do that with a horror movie. I think people are responding to our culture's distance from the extreme tragic realities of the world: some part of our brain is craving to handle tragic things in a world where such stories are all hidden in some way. 20:49, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

There is quite a lot horror movies where the tragic part can totally be prevented if they just didn't do that obvious stupid thing they did, like going to the basement ... also, alternative explanation would be that people like tragic and horror movies because compared to that, their own tragedies don't look so serious. However, I might be bad person to explain ; I don't watch horror movies, I watch fantasy movies like Dracula or sci-fi like Frankenstein ... there are several movies where I was rooting for the monster. Ok, in some of them EVERYONE was rooting for the monster, but still. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:15, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

It should say Jonah [sic], not Jonas [sic]. The [sic] implies you did NOT correct it (so: the one quoting should not be blamed for the error). While, in this situation, you did correct the original error. 07:19, 25 November 2018 (UTC)