Daryl Gregory‘s latest books are We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon Publications) and the near-future SF novel Afterparty (Tor Books). The YA Lovecraftian adventure Harrison Squared is forthcoming from Tor. He lives in State College, PA, in a rapidly emptying house, and is looking for a good dog. If you know of one, you can contact him at darylgregory.com.
I grew up during the golden age of slasher flicks. Jason, Freddy, Michael, and Chucky were my teenage companions. I remember being in the theatre for the original Friday the 13th, watching the face of that “final girl” as the credits rolled. She knew the nightmare would never be over. The monster would be coming back, though for a new set of victims and cheaper actors.
It was only years later that I began musing about what happened to those sole survivors after the movie was over. How were they not dysfunctional wrecks for the rest of their lives? Serious therapy-and serious meds-had to be in their future. Even when a hero or heroine returned for a sequel, the years of recovery (or attempted recovery) were barely touched on, or skipped altogether, before the new batch of bodies began piling up. But what was life like for them between the movies?
It’s not the job of movies to answer these questions. In every film (like any work of art) there must be things left unsaid, aspects of those worlds that go unexplained because they would destroy the tone of the movie, dilute its effects, or just plain blow out its running time. But some questions are left unexamined because movies can’t ask them: they’re ill-equipped for certain tasks that prose fiction is built to handle.