Ever since people first read the Book of Revelations in the New Testament of the Bible, people have been afraid about the possibility of the Apocalypse, and the end of the world. Horror writers and directors have used the ancient fear to their advantage ever since.
Try to think back to those Sunday sessions for a moment to remember about the teachings about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Four Horsemen were War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. This leaves a large area for many possible plotlines for horror movies and novels.
Fears about the Apocalypse that are spawned by the first of the Four Horsemen, War, will bring us stories about some kind of war that humans either can’t win, or should not be able to win. Think of movies such as Aliens in which humanity is exposed to an enemy that should be unbeatable. War is a horror that we can all relate to.
Fears about the Apocalypse that would be spawned by the second of the Four Horsemen would expose us to movies that would deal with a lack of some kind of necessity that we need to survive. Any movie in which humans could be deprived of water, food, or light could have easily been brought about by our ancient fears about the horrors of the Second Rider, Famine.
How many times have we been exposed to horrors that use insects as a tool? How many times have we been kept up at night after reading, or seeing a movie, about some kind of disease that has spread like wildfire across the world? These are fears of the Apocalypse that would refer to the Third Rider of the Four Horsemen, Pestilence.
The Fourth and Final Rider of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Death, brings about the easiest tool of horror that could be brought about a fear of the Apocalypse. Death has been the ultimate tool of horror since everyone has some level of fear about what will come to us on the other side. Almost every horror story that has ever seen paper has involved some threat of death.
Perhaps the best example of a horror movie that uses the fears of the Apocalypse would be a traditional zombie movie. Remember back to your lessons about the end of the world. Remember that one of the first signs of the Apocalypse is that the dead will rise from the grave, as in a zombie movie.
Along with the fact that these creatures have risen from the grave, they also pose a threat that humanity is not supposed to win. It is an aspect that is brought about by War, and the fear of the Apocalypse that he can create.
Zombies also make a great case for the influence of the Rider of the Four Horsemen known as Pestilence. The zombies spread an epidemic that cannot truly be stopped, only contained for a certain amount of time.
The next time that you watch a horror movie, or curl up with a good horror novel, try to think about which one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is represented in the story. Think about the new fears that this movie has inspired in you that can relate to the Apocalypse.