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Scary Movies

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The story takes place a few miles from New York City in 1968. The reader is introduced to a nine-year-old boy who is dropped off at a theatre with his friend in the outskirts of the town. The theatre plays horror-films, which excite the boys. As they enter the theatre they knew this wasn't a regular movie theatre. A black man served them their drinks and as they sat down on the front row they discovered that they were the only whites in the theatre. Their instinct told them to fly, but at the same time the theatre went crazy as a werewolf attacked its victim on the screen. All the black kids stood up screaming. The two white boys had never seen such a reaction. After the movie-show the boy and his friend decided to go to this theatre every Saturday.

One day everything changed. Martin Luther King was murdered and the black section of the town went berserk. Buildings were burned down and the police arrested many of the black men. That Saturday the boy went to the theatre alone because his friend didn't dare. As a scary scene came up the boy screamed. He was met by angry looks from the black kids who had stayed silent. Now he knew that something had changed in the theatre.


The small town in which the boy lives is divided into two sections - the western section and the eastern section. The town is segregated and the blacks live in the poor eastern section while the whites live in the rich western end. Of course a few black people work in the western section as school janitors and housekeepers but they are almost invisible in the landscape. Therefore the kids don't know anything about the blacks. They have only heard the cruel jokes that the adults sometimes tell or heard terrible stories about white kids who have been beaten up by black kids. The white children have got a delusion about these black people with whom they rarely associate. This is why the main character and his friend Kevin are so terrified when they discover that the Roxy Theatre is filled with black kids. They are certain that they will be mocked or even worse - that they will be beaten. Fortunately this doesn't happen. When the horror-creature appears all the black kids stand up hollering and cheering. This seems amazing to the two white boys. They have been raised to sit still in their seats keeping quiet when they are at the movies. But these black children are showing their emotions and let go of them. It fascinates the two white boys tremendously. They discover that the black children won't do them any harm because they are almost invisible to them exactly like the blacks in the white section of the town are invisible to the whites.

The main character realizes that as long as the black children are able to aim their aggression and terror toward the screen, then they don't care about the two white boys. The reason why the black kids get so caught up in the horror movies is, I think, that it is about creatures that don't exist. When the black children watch these scary movies the world around them and the violent, aggressive and segregated environment they live in doesn't seem as cruel and unbearable to them because there are at least no vampires or monsters who can hurt them. Also the fear they feel when they watch these movies isn't a fear that something could happen to them but something which is created by a movie director. It is a fabricated story they see on the



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