The contemporary horror films are termed as being in contest with social conventions and cultural assumptions in that they depict a contradiction to what is held as socially normal. This nature puts the horror film industry in the helm of the context of being adversarial to what is held true, both socially and culturally. This contradiction is seen through evidence of action that is beyond the expectations of reality. For instance, society holds life as a structure that starts from the birth and ends by the death through natural or man-made circumstances, whereas the contemporary horror films depict life as a continuous process that is valid even after the death. Moreover, the expectations of human nature in the context of living with reality are contradicted in horror films through depiction of life after a certain change in genetic characteristics termed mutation, which does not convene with the scientific understanding of mutation. The essence of these forms, adversarial to the cultural and social norms, is meant to give the horror films the significant reputation of emotions stimulators. In this essence, this unique characteristic is meant to instill fear and disgust among other emotions to the viewer for continued entertainment. Creation of this aspect of adversarial nature to social and cultural norms is through assimilation of the postmodern art through creation of repulsive objects, which are commonly monsters that are not good-looking, although the underlying plot relies on a form of story that arouses curiosity in the mind of a follower. This makes it possible for the viewer to follow, despite the social and cultural norms are broken. A horror film is comparable to the pornographic world in that there is a follow-up of pleasure at the expense of morality (Modleski 17). This essay depicts the ways in which the horror films pose the adversarial position in relation to the social and cultural issues that are taken for granted in the modern society. It employs the theoretical materials on the nature of postmodern art that produces the adversarial effect.
According to the cultural norms, mutations are evidently natural processes that result in change of genes of a living cell. The change in orientation of the genes results in either disability or consequent death. This characteristic is not obeyed in the horror film industry where human forms mutate and change to a more powerful forms that are hyperactive. This is evident in the film I Am Legend 2007, where research into a measles virus for cure for cancer results in the mutation of the genes of normal human beings. The ensuing story sees a trend of infections where the mutated forms portray man-eating characteristics, while the scavenged human forms are also infected forming a continuous trend. These man-eating characteristics are contradictory to the society understanding of cannibalism. The man-eating monsters that result from mutation portray characteristics beyond human nature, which is because of postmodern art of computer imagery (Modleski 42).
Moreover, computer imagery creates the notion of hyperventilation, in that the intestines of the darkseekers are seen hanging from outside the main intestinal chamber. A form of deviation from the known truth, in which it takes the illusions of the viewer into thinking against the familiar components of the universe, is an unstable depiction of unrealistic things as being possible. Moreover, it arouses the feeling of paranoia with resultant fear in the human nature since it is a preamble to the life of the spiritual world yet in reality since it happens in the minds of viewers. The essence of conversion of human nature into forms of cannibals is also a form of contradiction with societal norms since it evidently influences the life of the viewer, where depending on the notions of the viewer, the temptation of practicing what happens can be easily tolerated in their real life. This implies that this practice is a form of deterioration of the humanistic elements in individual beings, where cannibalism could suffice as a part of the human aspects in real human life since it is seen happening in the horror films (Modleski 28)
Consequently, the film depicting a legend who tries to save the society from the wrath of the darkseekers, where Robert Neville tries to coin a serum for immunization against infection, falls under the postmodernism era, in the sense that the initial intention of achievement of the predatory human beings was based on the use of prosthetics which were replaced by computer imagery in order to achieve the aspect of hyperventilation in the human intestinal chambers. This move was to give the real essence of jeopardy with reality since this is the basic aspect of postmodernism in any genre of a film. On the other hand, the idea of acquiring the full features of predation after infection through cannibalism is also a characteristic of postmodernism in that the most prevalent result after infection should be death and not acquaintance of predation characteristics. It is not even known how the predators were so much susceptible to light to such a degree that when "the legend" traps one female predator for the research, the male counterpart tries to rescue it in vain due to presence of light. The aspect of rescuing fellow predators is also an obscurity, which exemplifies the film as a postmodern aspect of thinking. Funny enough, the predators are so aware of immune human beings that they hunt for a prey at night.
Another cultural norm that is evidently violated in horror movies is consideration of life. It is a natural phenomenon that life begins at birth and ends at death. However, the horror film industry works in jeopardy with this norm. This is to say that in the films there is evidence of existence of life after death, while the living zombies acquire full characteristics of human beings, which depicts a postmodern era of thinking. How these dead forms of human beings rise from the dead is really fascinating, while the life after death is more a fairy tale than the truth underlying the stories. This is depicted in the film Hitchcock's Psycho of 1960, where a dead woman lives long after her death. The woman, who happens to be the mother of Norman Bates resumes back to life roles with bare eye sockets while she is able to turn about her seat in the crop basement (Bruzzi 37). This indeed contradicts with the most expected, since society including Bates knows that no one possesses the ability of resurrection. This keeps the mind of the viewer into the quest of what happens next although it is an infringement to cultural norms to live after death. In some contexts, this is considered to be a bad omen, while in some - this is a root for consequent death of the next of the kin to the living dead. Moreover, this instills the aspect of fear in the viewer. The postmodernism aspect of the film comes about as a result of consequent mannerisms of communication that the dead make after resurrection. This is to mean that after death a zombie is able to acquire human characteristics of normal life.
The other aspect that signifies the relevance of death is life, where in modern horror films death and life are both dissociative in the sense that one can act as both living and dead. This is evident in the film Dead Man of 1996, where Baudrillard is seen sharing both characteristics of the living and the dead. In this context, the societal understanding of the nature of human beings is that they are living or dead. There are no chances of intermediaries in life and death in the both the conventional and contemporary society. This film depicts a simultaneous kind of life, which is contradictory to the social understanding of life. This notion of duplication in life and in death seems to depict personal control of life in the ideologies formed by the viewer (Thornton 34). Consequently, it is a source of argument over its possibility and legality, which is in line of postmodernism thinking. This is also a form of suppressive thinking in relation to the social agenda, where man lives to die and not to exhibit both forms. This aspect of double life is taken for granted in that the viewer is taken into a world of thinking about the consequences of being alive when dead, which distorts the whole system of familiar truth. On the other hand, double forms of life are considered to be primitive in the eyes of a casual observer, although the element that entices for follow-up is the plot behind the scenes. It makes the viewer to anticipate for more as they are taken to an unknown world, which might influence the normal way of understanding of known world (Butler, 56).
The other aspect in films that makes them adversarial concerning the societal and cultural issues is the perception that mutated forms or monsters are commonly referred to as being able to start families. It is absurd that once any form of human being mutates into other non-human form, it changes its lifestyles to suit its predecessors. This element is in conflict with the general understanding of the human race since such forms of existence are least expected to reveal their identity. For instance, in the film I Am Legend (2007) the mutated forms join their peers immediately after mutation, while there is evidence of protection from members of the same genes. This implies that after mutations, the monsters are able to recognize those of the same family and discriminate the human forms that are immune. What is amazing is how they strive to win over the colony of normal human beings to their own forms after infection. Moreover, after mutation, the monsters do take the mutated beings as a part of their affiliation, where they do not harbor cannibal characteristics for their colonies (Sontag 51). The issue for deliberation is how these monsters acquire the sense of knowledge of drawing boundaries between members of the same family, which lies under postmodernism. It is evident that as Robert Neville tries to capture one of the monsters for research, the other monsters launch a counterattack, where he is rescued by Anna, a girl who was immune to infection. Consequently, in an effort to take away the infected woman from the colony of the monsters, she seeks protection from fellow infected monsters.
On the other hand, the monsters seem to be having a common daily routine, where they follow prey at night while they are inactive during the day. This contradicts the humanistic nature, which is nocturnal. This aspect of being nocturnal is also a postmodernism way of thinking where the viewer is not able to relate how light affects the normal operations of the mutated genes. From the understanding of scientific research, mutation of genes is a permanent process that happens and cannot be reversible. However, in horror films like the film, I Am Legend (2007), the legend Robert Neville finds cure for the mutated woman after several aspects of research. This shows that the impact of the research was to find another form of counter-mutation, which could resume the normal structure of genes in the mutated bodies. This contravenes the scientific understanding of the terms and conditions for mutation since there does not exist any form of artificial change in the structure of genes in the human body (Redhead 87). This happens naturally and in most cases, mutations result in the change of normal human characteristics to other forms and not conversely, where other forms result into human beings. This is also an aspect of postmodernism since the trial experiment works in favor of the legend in order to help define the title of the film in relation to the efforts of Robert Neville.
Conclusively, the horror genre has adversarial effects on society through postmodernism, which is the factor underpinning diversion from normal understanding of reality. This implies that postmodernism is the line of separation between art and culture while it forms the roots for the adversarial effects to the understanding of cultural and social issues. This is categorically through depicting life after death or double life, where superhuman forms live as being both dead and alive. Moreover, the horror movie genre depicts happenings beyond human imagination like that of formation of colonies of monsters with the same mannerisms and sets of operation like the human family (Ortner 73). Overly, the aspect of horror films being adversarial to the cultural and social norms is a way of diverting the attention of the viewer into imagination of what happens next in terms of curiosity creation, where they market themselves due to expensive installations like the computer imagery.