Chaney, Michael. “Horror Movies With Mom.” Prairie Schooner 90, no. 3 (Fall 2016): 101-110.￼
This article is a personal essay examining the author’s relationship with his mother via the horror films they watched together. The essay uses anecdotal evidence and elements of memoir (bringing up specific films and the memories he associates with them) to further its narrative. The narrator’s relationship with his mother was often tenuous, and this article provides an example of his synthesizing this relationship after his mother’s death through memoir and storytelling.
The essay addresses the theme of art and connection and how the two are linked. The author recounts memories he has of time spent with his mother and experiences of bonding with her and links each one not only to a time and place, but to the specific horror films he watched with her. The essay demonstrates the power art has to connect people, even if the relationships between them are already tenuous and sometimes rocky. Reading this article with peace in mind, we can take this concept one step further: art is linked with connection, but connection is linked with personal peace. The desire to connect, to share experiences with one another, is fundamental to the human experience and to our happiness, and art is one easy way to create that connection or shared experience. Art brings us together, as it brings together this author and his mother, but that togetherness also brings about personal senses of contentment and peace.