Eric Van Buskirk | April 8, 2020
We’ve created alternative movie poster PSAs to help push public safety messages during the Covid-19 pandemic. All are based on psychological dramas or thriller movies and line up with our article coverage of mental health, anxiety, phobias, and fears. Many of these are not soft, fluffy visuals. Our goal was to make them fun: dark humor for troubling times that are not much fun.
Sheltering in place, wearing masks, and social distancing needs to be taken super seriously. Frankly, too many people did not or are not taking this threat seriously enough. We’ll all pay for that. If you know someone with high levels of anxiety, you’ll identify with these movies.
Jaws, #StayHome | Confined Spaces
Can you swim with a hazmat suit on? We didn’t actually look into that. Probably not.
Swimming pools are shut down. Too many people are still mixing it up on beaches. You won’t spread viral, COVID-19 germs through H2O, but pools, and some beaches, are crowded places.
It’s doubtful any public health experts would encourage wearing face-masks near pools or beaches. You might fall into the water. Probably not nice for family to get a call about a small accident after someone has restricted breathing in water with a cloth or paper mask.
Animal phobias are common, and sharks are at the top of the list. We can’t imagine running into a tiger in the open outdoors, and most people don’t do safaris to Africa at this particular time. The cold, unknowable oceans and seas are vast: tough to know what is “lurking” nearby. The expanses of the great outdoors seem pretty special if you’re trapped inside now.
Spielberg once admitted he’s “not so much afraid of sharks,” but is “afraid of the water and afraid of everything that exists under the water that I can’t see.” In Jaws, the director shows the ocean at night; dark, mysterious, and murky. Fear of open water is called thalassophobia, one of the lesser-known phobias in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Joker, Wear a Happy Mask | Psychological Trauma
Our re-imagined posters aren’t meant to be understood with just one meaning in mind. Wear a happy mask can mean many things to many people. There’s no joking-around in the purpose of the message, though. Our ability to stop the spread of COVID-19 is serious business.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website attributes 3% to 5% of violent acts to individuals living with a serious mental illness. Those are small numbers, and many mental health experts are concerned the movie Joker pushes too hard on the idea that people with traumatic pasts are likely to become violent.
Many psychopaths are in fact charming people. They fit in well. The outcast-as-delusional-psychopath-murderer is not as common as one might think.
The Usual Suspects, Even Criminals (Mostly) Aren’t Psychopaths
Our “The Usual Suspects” poster plays on the idea that we’re all responsible for each other during the pandemic. More than ever, small selfish actions can have dramatic consequences for those around us. We’d like to think that even criminals have a sense of responsibility, but truth be told, some of the characters in the movie are pretty vacant of any moral sense.
Black Swan, Don’t Go Out Dancing | Agoraphobia
Aronofsky’s film is dark and scary. Its protagonist is full of phobias and anxieties. We suspect she would have a very, very difficult time staying at home and not going out dancing for any period of time. Cabin-fever is a very real thing. Everyone needs to educate themselves on how to fight and recognize it.
Note: This project is a collaboration between Dopa and ClickStream.