ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Have you ever seen a horror movie based on true life events that really does justice to the horror experienced in real-life? I mean, really? However distressing something is on-screen, we walk out of the cinema, shut our laptops, turn off the TV... we get to leave it all behind. How can this ever really imitate real-life horror?

Case in point, I stumbled across some old photos of the serial killer Edmund Kemper in jail. Kemper killed his grandparents at 15 and went on to rape, torture, kill and necrophiliacally abuse eight more women, including his own mother.

Here he is in jail, 1979

Edmund Kemper has been described as a "model prisoner." He makes intricate ceramics by hand, laboring over his creations for hours in his small cell.

He also cut off his own mother's head and molested it repeatedly before using it as a dart board, later throwing her ripped out throat down the garbage disposal.

I don't know about you, but the guy in these photos just looks... nice? Normal? He doesn't look like a necrophile that killed two co-eds in one night.

The duality of the smiling guy in these pictures is just so un-horror-movie-like, you know? I guess movies have to take a particular standpoint, create a "vision" and an aesthetic, whereas real-life just... is.

However, it is true that real-life horror movies are often not the best financed and realized of film projects. For example, unanimously despised 2008 effort Kemper, which cast 5'10" Robert Sisko in the title role (Kemper is famously nearly 6'9").


Do you think a movie can ever quite do justice to actual real life horror?

Source: IMDb, All photos from Joey Tranchina's 'A day with Ed Kemper 1979' via Imgur


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