The Splat Packers are tapping into Carl Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, providing a healthy outlet for people’s fears and dreams, according to Sheldon Roth, a psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry at Harvard U.’s School of Medicine.
Of course, he has a vested interest in the topic, considering he’s Eli Roth’s father.
Trained as a Freudian, Sheldon Roth relies on Jung in talking about what’s going on beneath the surface with these young filmmakers. Here’s his analysis:
“The Splat Pack films, and Eli’s in particular, … give people a chance to process unbearable and unacceptable feelings, but feelings that they nonetheless have. When this gets projected onto the screen, it gives people a way to see their dreams actualized. It provides them a safe way of handling these feelings.”
Eli Roth (the middle child) was perfectly normal growing up, says Sheldon Roth. The doctor and his wife, Cora , a painter, weren’t fazed in the slightest when their son began shooting home horror movies at the age of 8. (The party gag at Eli’s bar mitzvah? He was sawed in half.)
“He was always a little gentleman,” Sheldon Roth recalls.
Of course, no father can be completely objective about his children.
Eli Roth says if there’s one thing unifying the Splat Packers, it’s that they all like to push people’s buttons.
“When you watch people scream and almost vomit, it makes it all worth it,” the filmmaker says. “It’s still true that we’re all well-behaved. My dad always refers to Plato when talking about what I do — ‘the good dream of what the bad do.’ “