The preverbial bare breast shot has been a common thread among most horror movies over the last thirty years. While most people think that breasts in horror movies are there for the fascination of the male audience, there is actually a much deeper point of symbolism that many director of horror movies don’t even realize. As a writer who specializes in horror symbolism, I have to laugh whenever I see the use of the preverbial breast shot in horror movies.
The first aspect that we need to discuss is that fact that the early symbolism of the bare breast had nothing to do with sexuality. The earliest civilizations used the bare breast to symbolize the life-giving nature of women. The fact that the breast was used to provide the life-sustaining milk to a child was one of the any reasons why early sculptors and painters used the bare breast in their artwork.
Another aspect of the bare breasts that has been lost in horror movies is the fact that bare breasts symbolized fertility. A statue of a woman with a bare breast was to symbolize the woman’s fertility, not her sexuality. This is also why most of the early goddesses of fertility were usually seen in paintings and sculptures with bare breasts.
Directors of horror movies have also forgotten their art history classes that pointed out that a bare breast can also symbolize the art of a perfect female form. Artists have sated for years that a beautiful woman is a work of art. The bare breast was used by some artist to show that the beauty continues underneath the clothing of some women.
Directors of horror movies make a statement towards art history and towards theological history when they show bare breasts in the movies. Remember that the old rules of horror movies state that if a woman is seen with bare breasts, she will die soon. Symbolically this means that the antagonist of the movie is attacking the symbols of life-giving, fertility, and beauty. The antagonist is strong enough to destroy three aspects that humanity has held dear for thousands of years.
When watching horror movies, try to figure out if the directors realize the statement that are being made by this action. Chances are good that the directors have no clue about the deeper meanings that are being displayed on the screen. At least you will know.