COMM 3172 Reflective Essay 5

The terrible Disney movie I watched as a child is Hercules 1997. My mom raised me with biblical stories and made me fear the devil. Therefore, I associated the devil with wickedness and darkness from my mom’s tales. I watched the movie in my neighboring friends’ company and pretended that it did not scare me. However, the film frightened me out, and I would have nightmares after watching the movie. Whenever I had nightmares, I could scream and head to my parent’s bedroom. I only slept after my mom held me tightly in her arms and assured me that the movie is fictional. I sometimes had illusions of the horrifying characters in my mind, and I yelled my lungs off. My mom had to convince me that ‘Hades’ has no power over God’s favorite. I also slept with lights on out of the fear of darkness. 

The antagonist in Hercules had disfigured terrifying features. Hades’ big, yellow, round eyes and sharp razor like hands intensified the characters horrific appearance. The saw teeth of Hades made me think he would bite me in my dreams. Hades’ head also glazed with a blue flame that turned yellow when frustrated. I was shocked whenever Hades got angry and feared him as much as Pain and Panic (allies of Hades) did. The film also displayed hell as a horrible place. Hell was deserted, dark, and had other terrifying creatures. For instance, the seers sharing an eye freaked me out. I remember asking my mother whether hell has such disgusting creatures. The movie’s music and uncanny silence in hell also played a significant role in scaring me. Although Hercules, the antagonist, eventually defeated Hades, the horrifying scenes still haunted me.

           I must appreciate that Hercules stressed me out as a child. However, today it does not scare me at all. I see horror and thriller portrayals as creative and fictional works. I have revisited the movie and realized the hilarious traits of Hades. Today I find the film exciting and appreciate the film’s character’s talents. I have learned the movie’s frightening techniques, seen the behind scenes of several movies, and managed to eliminate fear. For instance, I came to know Hades is not the devil as I had assumed and that his voice emanates from a human being. Video editing also plays a crucial part in creating a horrifying impression. When I watch films, I salute the movie’s creativity and entertain myself without necessarily linking it with real life. Sometimes, I laugh off when I remember Hercules scenes that frighten me in my childhood. Therefore, films have no significant impact on my life other than entertainment.

           Priming theory is the unique concept I have enjoyed learning in class. Priming theory’s beauty is the fact that it heavily depends on human psychology. The human memory holds a lot of archived information from past experiences that remain dormant when not triggered. However, when a particular event activates the mind, the older memories refresh and prompt an individual to act accordingly. Past experiences play a fundamental role in shaping people’s commitment to causes in their life. For instance, a mom who finds a purpose to work from her child may be primed to elevate her effort after seeing a suffering child in the media. The media plays a crucial role in activating memories and influence decision making in people. Priming may make individuals regard particular aspects as relevant and others insignificant and persuade people to take a specific action (Bryant et al., 2012). Priming dictates the ideas, thoughts, and behavior of an individual towards a particular subject.

           Research has indicated that people vote for candidates they have limited information about through the effect of priming. A voter may have perceptions of a candidate depending on how frequently the media hosts the candidate or addresses matters about him/her. The voters are primed to vote for an individual that the media portrays often and positively. I also relate to the effects of scary movies with priming. For instance, a child who has watched the “Jaws” may fear association with waters due to the film’s terror. Even if the child grows into an adult, some memories may remain and may be activated when he/she goes to a lake or ocean. Swimming in the lake may prime the older childhood memories and cause him/her to fear swimming in the water. Businesses also utilize priming by creating a positive first impression on the customers. If the company dissolves and returns later, it may pick up since it will prime the audience to recall the quality services initially provided (Carriero, n.d.). The significant types of priming include violence priming, stereotype priming, and political priming. Exposure to priming situations for a longer time may have long-lasting effects and yield adverse consequences compared to priming situations that occur less frequently. Priming can occur consciously or unconsciously and can be used to exploit people for selfish agendas (Businesstopia, 2018). In my perspective, priming by the media occurs most of the time and influences the decisions and views people have in different situations. 


Bryant, J., Thompson, S., & Finklea, B. W. (2012). Fundamentals of media effects (2nd ed.). Waveland Press.

Businesstopia. (2018, February 15). Priming theory

Carriero, G. (n.d.). Priming theory paper | Gina carriero- PR blog. Sites at Penn State – WordPress | powered by WordPress.

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