Traveling Through Tropes

My favorite genre of films is horror. Growing up as a kid, I always loved watching horror films. I always enjoyed the suspense, the frightening storyline, and the jump scares. I love horror movies with jump scares, because it creates a suspense and surprises you. So, because of my interest in horror films, I chose a trope relating to the horror genre. The trope I ended up picking is Abandoned Hospitals.


Many of my favorite movies are based upon abandoned hospitals. I was always scared of hospitals as a kid and seeing them all dark and scary in the movies really frightened me. In addition, the thought of being stuck in a dark building and the fact that you’re being chased, really scares me. Being trapped in an abandoned hospital building means that whatever is chasing you can appear in a jump scare at any given time, keeping you on the edge of your seat and always feeling a sense of suspense throughout the movie. Also movies that occur in mental asylums scare me, because you don’t know what to expect from these asylums. People with mental issues, who are in asylums, are often crazy and would do horrible and violent things. Abandoned hospitals also create a feeling of isolation. When a character is stuck in a abandoned hospital, they have no one to help them and aren’t able to call for help. Many older, real life ‘abandoned hospitals’ in the U.S were properly called sanatoriums, and have probably contributed to the trope imagery. Their abandonment was sometimes related to loss of funding or new prohibitively expensive fixing due to new government regulations.

Below is one of favorite horror films in an abandoned hospital: Crazy Eights



Expectations vs. Reality

We make judgements and predictions, about situations, based on movies and other sources of information.   However, most of the time, these situations are fictional and often mislead us. What we expect out of a situation almost never happens. This what lead us to the Expectations vs. Reality. For example, during spring break, people expect to go out and hang out with their friends. They create all these plans to go to the beach and explore different cities. They plan on going to parties and overall just being active and productive during spring break. Most of the time, they often end up just sleeping a lot and watching movies and shows on netflix eating ice cream.

Below is a link to a video about Expectations vs. Reality on going back to school:

Back to School Expectations vs Reality

Sometimes things go better than what you expect. I thought I was gonna spend spring break at home, and maybe have some friends over. However my friends made late plans to go to Vegas and have fun. So Saturday morning, me and my friends drove down to Las Vegas and we rented 4 hotel rooms for the 8 of us. Everyday we went out and explored the city, as it was super active during the night. Overall it ended up being one of most memorable experiences of my life. It just goes to show that things never go the way you expect it to. Sometimes things go better than you thought it would, and sometimes you just end up doing nothing, and bored.

Below is a picture of a Lamborghini we saw at Vegas:





Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield Comparison

Donnie Darko and Holden Caulfield Comparison

Holden and Donnie Darko are very similar characters. Their way of thinking and their common goal and decisions very well go hand in hand. To my perspective both Holden and Donnie Darko’s goal is to save young children from the mistakes and pain that they faced while growing up.

Image of Holden to the left and Donnie to the Right:

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For example in Catcher in the Rye, Holden talks about his mission of making sure his sister doesn’t get hurt when she falls while attempting to reach for the golden ring above her horse. Donnie Darko makes his belief clear when he reads his poem on Poetry Day. His poem says :” A storm that will swallow the children, And I will deliver them from the kingdom of pain , I will deliver the children back to their doorsteps / And send the monsters back to the underground , I’ll send them back to a place where no-one else can see them , Except for me , Because I am Donnie Darko.” To me, I believe this poem’s meaning is that Donnie Darko wants to save the young and innocent children from the “dark and horrible” experiences that come with growing up in life. It is also made obvious that Donnie wants to save the children from fear that is caused by pain.

Video of Donnie Darko reading his poem:


They both also believe that there sole purpose in life is to protect the youth. For example in “The Catcher in the Rye”, the only thing that matters to Holden is his little sister Phoebe. This is similar to how Donnie Darko sacrifices himself to save the lives of Gretchen, Frank, and his sister from painful deaths. In the end they both realize and come to the conclusion that the pain that is faced while growing up is inevitable and let it happen. We see this in “The Catcher in the Rye”, when Holden decides to let his sister fall when she attempts to reach for the golden ring above her horse. We also see this in Donnie Darko, when Donnie sacrifices his life so that Gretchen, Frank, and his sister can continue living, even though he knows that they will experience more pain and  through living their daily lives, than if they had died. To me, Holden  and Donnie are very similar characters, and they remain similar as their mentalities change in the end, when they decide that the pain and fear faced while growing is inevitable and is something that will experience in their lifetime.




Big Bear Trip

Big Bear Trip

As I was reading “the Catcher in the Rye”, in the chapter where Holden leaves pencey early and decides to leave to New York, it brought up a similar experience I had during winter break. My experience is similar to Holden’s in the sense that it was a new and unfamiliar experience for him as if it was for me. During winter break, I went to Big Bear with 10 other friends. We all pitched in for renting a cabin, and we decided to spend a weekend there. The two biggest reasons we went was to go skiing (click for a cool video of people skiing), and to hang out and have a good time with each other. For that weekend we would go into town whether to get dinner, or to buy some groceries we needed such as marshmallows for S’mores.

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Big Bear The last time I went to Big Bear was when I was 4, so I really didn’t remember much. When we went into town everything seemed so different, people acted different, dressed different, etc… Everything was so different compared to how it is Huntington Beach. For me, it felt like I was in a different state or a different country. Huntington Beach is so much more urban than Big Bear so it was nice to see how people spent their past time. From my observations it seems like a lot of people go to diners, talk and have a good time. Even though, Big Bear is only a few hours from here, the lifestyle there compared to here is different, and was very unfamiliar to me. This similar to Holden’s experience in a sense. Even though he is familiar with New York, he faces new things and has a very unfamiliar experience such as dealings with the blonde girl he dances with, and the conflict he faces with Maurice, when he scams Holden to pay him five more dollars. Also another thought struck me, I find it really interesting how you can do the same things, go to the same places over and over,  but somehow it always ends up being a brand new experience and creates so many new memories.



BMW and Alpina The Same or Different?

Many people are familiar with the car brand BMW. Whether you have a passion for cars, or simply don’t care at all, you have at least once looked at a expensive BMW and wondered how great life would be if you owned one. Now what if I told you that you’ve seen BMW cars that aren’t BMW. You’d simply call me crazy and scratch your head thinking about what I’ve just said, but I’m being totally serious. There is a automobile manufacturing company by the name of Alpina whose cars are very much identical to BMW.

To the left you will see a picture of a BMW M760 Li and to the right you will see a picture of an Aplina model


If you only gave a quick glance you would easily confuse the two. Alpina builds cars using BMW’s framework, and adds their own twist to it by adding more premium luxury features. Many people, including myself, have believed Alpina to be a separate branch created by BMW, but this isn’t the case. Alpina is its own brand and is not owned by BMW. Alpina and BMW work together to produce luxury vehicles of high quality to compete against their main competitors such as Mercedes and Audi. BMW’s flagship model is the 7 series. Alpina then takes BMW’s M760 Li, and change the car according to their needs. Usually Alpina adds more luxury and power to M760 Li and their own interior styling and badging. Going back to my earlier statement, both of these cars look the same but both have different styling cues and create different emotions for drivers.

The reason why I bring BMW and Alpina up is because they are opposites to how Stradlater and Ackley, two characters from “The Catcher in the Rye”,are compared. BMW and Alpina look similar but both behave and are different in driving dynamics. Stradlater and Ackely look completely different, but both characters act similarly. Holden compares Stadlater and Ackley by describing them both as “slobs” in their personal habits. However they are both “slobs” in different ways. Ackley acted like and looked like a slob, but Stradlater looked clean despite his habits. Holden says that Stradlater always looks clean, as he is always shaving, but Stradlater uses a rust ridden razor that is full of lather and hairs. So even though Stradlater and Ackley are seen as completely different people, both behave similarly. Just as how BMW and Alpina are perceived as the same, even though they are two different vehicles.