5 Scary Movies That Teach Money Lessons
A great horror movie will entertain you even if it scares you. But can you learn something practical while you’re shaking? In some cases, you can.
Here are five scary movies — some old, some new — that offer chills, thrills, and a personal finance lesson or two:
1. “Tall Men” (2016): Read the Fine Print
Poor Terrence is going through serious economic conflicts. His money problems are so serious that he file the balance sheet. So when a mysterious company sends him a credit card application, he completes it without stopping to read the fine print. Soon he begins to top up the account, even using it to buy an expensive and flashy car to impress a lover.
Terrence (played by Dan Crisafulli) then loses his job and discovers that the interest calculated on his credit card balance is rapidly accumulating, causing his debt to escalate out of control. When he cannot handle the account and falls behind, demonic beings begin to pursue him. Can Terrence escape those black-suited, bandaged-face debt collectors from Hell?
Lesson: As tempting as it is to take out a credit card and then charge a fee you can’t afford, you need to know the interest rate and be sure you can handle the payments. Also Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you against unfair collectors – as long as they are alive.
2. “The Shining” (1980): Don’t Borrow From Strangers
“I happen to have two tens and two twenties here in my wallet,” Jack Torrence (played by Jack Nicholson) drawls, ordering a drink from Lloyd, the bartender. When Jack finds out he doesn’t have the money after all, he asks if his credit is good in the joint.
“Your credit is good, Mr. Torrence,” Lloyd said, with a meaningful look. But when he informs Jack that he has nothing to pay at all, Jack becomes suspicious. “I’m the kind of guy who likes to know who buys his glasses, Lloyd,” he says.
The bartender assures him it’s not a problem. Drinks are offered by the house. Jack nods. By accepting the free drinks, he seals his fate – and transforms into one of the most terrifying ax maniacs on the big screen.
Lesson: There are almost always conditions attached when you borrow money or accept something for free. If you can’t pay your bill up front, make sure you know the terms before accepting an offer that sounds too good to be true, whether it’s a line of credit or drinks. a friendly stranger.
3. ‘Squid Game’ (2021): Don’t Play Games With Your Money
How far would you go to win a huge amount of money? What if that meant participating in a series of modified childhood games?
This is what happens to Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae). An immature (but loving) divorced father with a gambling habit accepts an invitation to play a series of children’s games, and the final winner receives a huge prize. The problem is that Seong has to compete with hundreds of others who are in similar financial circumstances. Worse still, the loser of each game dies, until the last person standing can claim the funds.
Games with innocent roots are getting harder and harder. Alliances are formed and enemies abound. Seong persists, but his humanity is put to the test. Does the end justify the means? This Korean horror series will have you queuing until the next episode late at night to find out.
Lesson: If you find yourself in financial trouble, take steps to repay debts. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a position where you have to consider doing something unethical to get yourself back on track – and that never ends well, especially on horror shows.
4. ‘Emily the Criminal’ (2022): Find a legal way to pay student loans
Many college graduates face a dilemma. With high student loans and low paying jobs, how can they repay their loans, let alone remove the balance in a short time? It may seem impossible. That’s Emily’s situation, but she also has a criminal record that makes it even harder to get a good job. Emily (played by Aubrey Plaza) works for a food delivery service, barely scratching. Job interviews for better positions don’t go as planned.
Desperate, Emily agrees to a lucrative but illegal gig, buying items with stolen credit cards. At first, everything goes well. His mission is a fun thrill and worth the time and effort. Eventually, however, being a “dummy buyer” becomes dark and dangerous. Although not technically a horror movie, “Emily the Criminal” is definitely scary, suspenseful, and violent. Will she survive the next gig – and is it worth it?
Lesson: If you need to freeze your student loan repayments with a abstention, do not hesitate. As difficult as it is to make ends meet and make progress in getting a legitimate job, with persistence, you can do it. Definitely don’t do it by committing credit card scams.
5. “Psycho” (1960): Avoid crime and scary roadside motels
In this Hitchcock classic, Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh) makes a brash and deeply wrong decision when she steals money from her office. She knows she has to get away, fast. Unfortunately, she ends up in an old motel off the beaten path, where she is greeted by the odd Norman Bates, the employee who checks her in. He explains that his mother owns the motel and that they both live in the large but dilapidated mansion just up the hill.
At first, Marion seems happy to have robbed her goofy boss, but she eventually realizes it wasn’t such a good idea. She decides to return the money, but it’s too late. As she takes a shower before leaving, someone enters the steamy bathroom and we see the shadow of a knife.
Lesson: Again, crime does not pay. Also use your rewards to get free stays in a nice chain hotel. And if you have to stay in a creepy roadside motel, lock your bathroom door (like anyone who’s ever watched this movie).