The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator


Psychological thrillers are way scarier than horror movies
Photo by Submotted
A movie poster of “Shutter Island,” illustrated by Melvin Mago.

I have never been a fan of horror movies. The gore and jumps are never my favorite, and I find that horror movies lack substance or meaning. 

Now, this isn’t a horror movie hate train. I do enjoy a good horror flick from time to time, especially with my friends around Halloween, but I never really find myself tuning into the movie. 

As Halloween is finally upon us, my friends and I decided to take the time to watch some bone-chilling movies. Now, I thought this would be the normal horror, jump-scarey type of flick, but I was wrong. 

The movie we watched was the 2010 film “Shutter Island,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring notable actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo

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Going into the movie I was skeptical if I would like it or not. As I have said, I’m not the biggest fan of scary movies in general, and furthermore I’m not the biggest fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. Though I get it, his work in “Titanic” was amazing and he is a very talented actor, but I just cannot stand him as a person. 

With all this being said, I went in with an open mind and was ready for whatever the film was going to throw at me, and boy was I not ready enough.   

The film follows two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, as they are sent to an asylum on a remote island to investigate the disappearance of a missing patient. In their investigation they both discover disturbing truths about the island and truths about themselves.

Teddy, our protagonist, played by DiCaprio, is a riveting and passionate character. Extremely motivated to find this missing patient, we also see Teddy’s alternative motive for coming to this island. 

We discover later in the movie that Teddy’s old house was burned down by a patient of the island, and in this fire Teddy’s wife also died. 

Teddy is looking for some sort of conclusion to this tragic tale, and we see along the course of the movie as Teddy slowly spirals with obsessiveness about finding this arsonist. 

Further into the movie we learn about the island’s dark ties to very inhumane psychiatric practices and just how diabolical the owner of this institution is. 

This story seems pretty straightforward, but trust me, you have to watch it for yourself to see all the dark and twisted turns that this film takes. 

When I tell you there were moments in this film where I was genuinely terrified. Oh boy. The way that this film dives into Teddy’s mind is very unnerving. 

Psychological thrillers have this way of portraying humanity in a sense that is much more terrifying than any nightmarish monster that our imaginations could create. It’s almost as if humanizing the horror down to just our terrifying brains makes the thrill and scares much more real, and in the end much more scary. 

The end of this movie had me reeling and chilled to my core, more than any horror movie I have ever seen. 

If you’re looking for a movie that will leave you spooked this Halloween season, I definitely recommend it. 

Hirata can be reached at [email protected].




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