Student loan slasher films?

(Spoilers for the movie You’re Next to follow)

So You’re Next is about two brothers who decide that it makes sense to hire a bunch of guys to viciously murder their entire family in order to gain their parents’ inheritance. One of the brothers, Crispain, is the protagonist Erin’s boyfriend. While the other brother is introduced as somewhat distant and cold, Crispain is never in the slightest suggested to be a sociopath who would reason that murdering his entire family in front of his girlfriend is a good idea. His reasoning? Student loans. Yes, people are in such dire straits with their student loans that they start seeing simultaneous parenticide, fratricide, and sororicide as a viable option.

Wait. First we have to put on our special Suspension of Disbelief Goggles. Okay, so that’s clearly not within the realm of possibility unless you’re H.H. Holmes. But Simon Barrett, the screenplay writer, must have seen at least a grain of possibility in it or else the audience would have viewed it as completely ludicrous. Instead I think most people, or at least the twentysomethings who this movie is geared toward, are meant to identify with Crispain’s crippling debt.

The point is, student loans are such an enormous problem in the US that a slasher film has taken it on faith that the audience will see finally paying them off as a viable (if EXTREME) justification for all that horrific senseless slaughter. Paying off student loans is now up there with simple killing for sport and revenge in the great list of slasher movie antagonist motivations.

I just wanted to put that down in writing.


About Bryan Cebulski

Writer. Cis queer. History, masculinity, media. Point-and-click adventure protagonist. He/Him/His. Collects bad habits like Jessica Rabbit.
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