You know how every good hero has an origin story? The exposition where we are given very slim details as to how our hero got their powers or became that special someone. Peter Parker goes to a laboratory and is bitten on the hand by a radioactive spider, thus infecting his body; giving him super strength, agility and a “spider sense.” Making him the Amazing Spider Man. Barry Allen was a scientist working in his lab and is struck by a lightning bolt that then splashed chemicals on him and thus… giving him super speed and making him the Flash. Some of these comic heroes origins are insanely ridiculous and the means by which they are turned into a hero does not really need to make much sense. But it’s all good fun and shouldn’t require a scientific kind of approach for an explanation. Much is the same with the horror genre.
It is very interesting how horror icons are very similar to popular comic book heroes. One of the many reasons the genre of horror has always appealed to me is horrors ability to always remain socially conscious and often times skew our cultural comfort zones. While guys like Spider Man, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk obtain rare powers and become fighters of good… the horror genre introduces those same principals but gives them to those who reside deep in our nightmares. Think about the major horror players and how they became who they are. Jason is a young boy and is drowned in a lake while the camp counselors just sat and did nothing. He becomes a walking terror that cannot truly die. Kind of like Deadpool or Wolverine. Freddy Krueger was a killer and becomes a demon that kills children in their dreams. Chucky is a killer than transports his consciousness into a toy doll. Every major horror movie baddy is simply… a super hero. Yea, I said it. They are the equivalent to heroes. We love them for their efforts and know that although they may not win the day… they do come back because just like a hero; these killers are forever faithful to their duty. We obsess over their origin stories and cheer on their mission in killing. The bloodier and more ridiculous the better!
Out of all the horror killer origin stories, whether it be Freddy, Candyman, Pinhead or Chucky. There is one that sticks out to me as the most “super hero” of them all and that would be none other than 1997’s Jack Frost!
This is one of those movies where it kind of surprises most non-horror fans. Yea, it is kind of stupid but Jack Frost is one of those movies that doesn’t take itself all too serious. Which I believe is what it was intended to be. The film was released in 1997 which was a year after Scream brought back the slasher genre. So while Scream really went full “meta” on the genre, here comes Jack Frost that goes meta in a different aspect. We have killer dolls, butchering hockey players and even killer clown aliens. Sure it’s all dumb so why not a killer snowman?
Snowmen Are Supposed To Be Nice
But that’s what horror is supposed to do! Who is afraid of snowmen? They’re supposed to be nice and friendly. I still remember this Christmas cartoon called the snowman where this little boy wakes up one morning to new fresh snow. He goes out and builds this wonderful snowman. Then at night the thing comes to life and takes the boy to the north pole where the kid parties with other snowmen and Santa. It’s all cute and one that I think many of us grew up on! So its clear that snowmen are definitely a soft spot for most of us. So why not make a movie where a killer becomes a snowman and goes on a rampage! It attacks our comfort zones!
Jack Frost is so much like a super hero story that it cracks me up. The guy gets exposed to some unknown chemical that upon contact… I guess, as we see in that clip; turns his DNA structure into snow. It makes me laugh because to me, our boy Jack kind of accepts the nature of his becoming something greater. While most kind of cringe and avoid this end, Jacks only response is “This is gonna hurt,” which is hilarious because it’s like he knew this was coming. It’s like getting a tattoo, you know it’s going to hurt but the pay off will rule in the end. But what about Jack accepting this dismal transformation.
You see, I am of the mind that the horror genre is a much larger thing. That the killers we love to watch and the tropes in these films are like holiday traditions. They’re all a part of a bigger scheme. Ok, so if anyone is familiar of DC comics Green Lantern. Hal Jordan is chosen to be a part of the lantern core. His duty is to serve a district of space and thus fulfill a mission. So likewise, I love the idea that within the horror universe a killer, monster or entity is created and persists to kill as a servant to a larger entity. I like to think that there is some evil godlike being that seeks out tormented evil souls to give them vast amounts of power. In doing so creating fear, pain and sacrifice for the titans desire.
Regardless of what the bigger picture, this movie is hilarious and this origin scene is pretty badass. I love how he starts melting and his skeletal corpse disintegrates into the snow. The best is how the security guard is watching him in this most ridiculous moronic way. It’s most likely the actor and Jack turning were being shot at two different and separate locations. So the guard had no clue what he was actually responding to because if I witnessed a guy being covered in chemicals and melting away like Jack, I would be puking or bolting my ass out of there. But seriously if you haven’t seen this movie then give it a shot. Yes, it looks fake as fuck but it will make you giggle.