8 Horror Movies With Surprising Deeper Meanings

What The Descent was REALLY about...

The Descent
Pathé Distribution

Horror is a genre that often gets looked down on by those in the film community, case in point: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This is a shame considering how far horror has come, with many films over the last few years garnering the praise of both mainstream critics and weirdos in Camp Crystal Lake t-shirts alike.

Many modern horror films are considered complex, but "scary movies" were not always over-analyzed like the Scarlet Letter by a 9th grade literature class. Hereditary, The Babadook and The Lighthouse have deeper themes and meanings woven into the plot that everyone is praising. While this feels fresh and new, horror has always had a way of sneaking in smart subtext amid all the gore, sex and other genre stuff critics used to deem offensive.

Yes, most 80s body horror and slashers were secretly about AIDS and most late 70s American horror movies are somehow a metaphor for Vietnam, but going over all those again seems redundant. With some horror movies, you have to peel back the grimy, gross and weirdly wet surface layers to find truly surprising deeper meanings.

8. Resident Evil Is Filled With Alice In Wonderland Symbolism

The Descent
Screen Gems

Resident Evil is a fun, turn-off-your-brain horror movie. It is primarily remembered for Milla Jovovich ninja kicking zombies and looking stellar while doing it, but there is also some deeper symbolism going on.

Director Paul W.S. Anderson told Fangoria magazine way back when we all unironically liked Sum 41, “It struck me that the fundamental idea of girl in a dress goes into a hole in the ground is exactly what both Alice in Wonderland and Resident Evil is.”

This connection to Alice in Wonderland is found all throughout Resident Evil. For example, the T-Virus being tested on white rabbits, the Umbrella Corporation's commandos constantly worrying about time and the Alices of both stories go through a looking glass. Though we concede, the looking glass in Alice in Wonderland does not have death lasers like the one in Resident Evil.

There is also the aptly named AI baddie, The Red Queen. Like her Alice in Wonderland counterpart, the Red Queen causes many decapitations and even demands our protagonist does some decapitating of her own as her friend is turning into a zombie.

Off with their heads!

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Jonathan Kaulay is a freelance writer and editor. Sometimes he writes shorter stuff on Twitter.