I have a guilty pleasure for ghost stories/haunted house movies or as I like to call them “White people won’t move movies”. Poltergeist, Mama, The original season of American Horror Story…I love them all. Seldom are they good, they almost all follow the same same exact tropes to the point they’re literally the same movie with reshuffled white people but bad, awful or mediocre, I’m in.
You’ve all seen one: Family decides to move to this secluded area for some undisclosed reason, the kids don’t want to go but they’re kids they don’t have a choice. The entire ride up, the parent is reassuring the kids that this is a good idea whilst ignoring the fact they’ve been the only car on the road for the past hour. They get to the house and of course, it’s never clean, how the realtor sold a filthy house never ceases to amaze me. That realtor could sell a Gap hoodie and a pumpkin spice latte to Rachel Dolezal, the hustle is that strong. The kids complain again, at which point the parent explains that they put all their money into this, so deal with it or sell drugs to get us out of debt. The kids consider it, but they ain’t about that life, so this is home now. The movie then goes down the beaten path of ignoring every possible red flag until the ghost or creature literally says, I’m a ghost or creature and even then they are in disbelief. Of course, these people won’t care about something until it affects them directly so that ghost that been trolling them all movie is going to possess someone. So then a family member clearly gets possessed but that won’t stop other relatives from simply asking them to snap out of it while the demon is clearly trying to kill their ass. Yes genius, merely asking water yew doing is going to stop the person with no pupils, pale skin and trying to choke you. Then comes my favorite part, the obligatory fling someone across the room scene…never not hilarious. Anyway, the ghostdemon chases family around the house while the family continues to look for safety in the worst hiding spots ever. They go everywhere except out of the damn house because why exit the premises, there’s no way anyone will look under the bed. Yada yada yada in spite of their stupidity they manage to exorcize whatever demon, because they spent one afternoon in the library and realized why the ghost is there in the first place. Of course it’s always some sappy excuse and the ghost who killed every other family feels understood, so they gonna chill with all that haunting. The family goes back to lives as normal, yet and still they won’t move out that damn house. Because sequel.
So I was watching one of these films the other day and I couldn’t help but think…this is literally white privilege. What is white privilege? In layman’s terms: There’s even a movie coming to MTV about it (Sidenote: check the link, the writer is sooo mad). Someone should tell MTV to save their money, because nothing showcases some good old privilege like a horror flick. Who wants to watch a bunch of white kids crying about how it isn’t their fault that waaay up they feel blessed when there’s a plethora of haunted house movies full of thrills, scares and naivete. THAT’S how you get the point across. You’ll never see any black families in this type of film,
because they wouldn’t approved be for the mortgage any damn way. There’s only so many “coincidences” until they would get up outta there. We just aren’t wired with that level of privilege like a middle class white family moving way over yonder to live in some house with no wifi.
What MTV should do if they are so obliged to tackle white privilege, is show white people watching The Conjuring. As they roll their eyes and jump up because its so obvious there’s a ghost in the room, hopefully they feel the same way when a racist shoots up a black church, says it was fueled by race yet some gasbag will go on CNN and say it’s not a race issue. Next time that person on Facebook says racism will go away if black people stop bringing it up, just tell them to watch Annabelle and what happens when they keep pretending that doll isn’t evil, then the evil will just go away. Maybe the way to get through to privileged folk isn’t debate but showing them other silly and ignorant people. Perchance then they can see that asking why isn’t there a WET awards is just as stupid as a protagonist asking a demon to just cut it out. Because that’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.
The way to approach white privilege isn’t to express fake guilt, it’s to acknowledge that you have it and understand how ridiculous you look when acting otherwise. Being self aware goes way farther than trying to explain yourself…thats how you end up making songs like Accidental Racist or looking like the simpleton parent in a horror movie, and no one wants to be the simpleton parent in a horror movie.