Of men and monsters: Why we watch
Nick and I went to the Savoy theater to see a double feature of Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. Most of the audience was made up of middle-aged people with Down’s syndrome. It was odd at first: We almost felt left out, as though we missed a memo, and I wondered what exactly was going on. Were they all there as a group, was it some special event, or had they all arrived independently? If the latter, why? Why come to see an old horror movie double feature, and not all the other flicks I’d seen at this theater?
When the lights dimmed and the first feature began, I remained in the dark, but partway through the evening, near the beginning of Bride, as the Monster stumbled his way into the hovel of a kindly, blind, violin-playing hermit who reacted with no fear; who offered food, wine, affection and friendship, I glanced around to see those faces in the audience, tilted and wistful, lit like lanterns from the screen, happily sighing themselves into this scene of respite from the constant misunderstandings, fear, hatred and judgment that their beloved Monster had faced, and I think after half a lifetime of adoring the cinema, I finally understand what it’s really for.