Antlers are a predominant image in the “Hannibal” television series. It is represented in connection to the Wendigo, a metaphor for Hannibal Lecter himself. The Wendigo is an antlered demonic cannibalistic spirit in Algonquian legend. There is also a mental disorder called the “Wendigo Psychosis” in which the main symptom is a strong craving for human flesh.
The antlers in Hannibal are then used to represent Hannibal’s cravings and killings. Dead bodies displayed on antlers is a consistent visual element which is very striking and even sadistically artistic.
Of course I was bombarded by the internet hype over the “True Detective” series and decided to give it a try. I couldn’t get past the first episode, I found it rather dull. But I found it interesting that the first dead body shown had antlers.
Of course since I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the show in the first place, I merely assumed they were ripping off “Hannibal.” “Hannibal” creator, Brian Fuller, addressed this in an interview at the Television Critics Association winter press tour:
“Anybody who saw Salem’s Lot in 1979 where James Mason impaled that guy on the antlers, it’s probably all coming from that traumatic experience in our childhoods, I imagine they probably saw the same thing that inspired, you know, the imagery in this show.”
via The Wrap
I haven’t watched Salem’s Lot but I will now! Here are some more examples of antlers used in horror:
More surreal than horror but David Lynch always counts…
Of course a horror movie about the Wendigo would have antlers. You can watch the full Wendigo film here:
Are there other examples of antlers used in horror movies and shows, or scenes of death by antlers?