Student Loan Debt Has Been a Nightmare for Years. Now It's a Horror Movie

The Red Movie"In the Red," a film by American Student Assistance.
Economically speaking, it's a nightmare out there for young adults. Student loan debt has never been higher and the employment market has rarely been tougher. Wages are low, expenses are high, and a growing number of college grads are finding themselves on a treadmill to nowhere, running hard and fast merely to stay in place.

But student loan debt isn't just a horror: now it's a horror movie. American Student Assistance, a nonprofit group that educates collegians about loans and counsels graduates on their repayment options, has released "In the Red," an eight-minute horror film in which the young heroine is stalked by the ever-more-terrifying specter of her debt.

The movie draws from classic horror flicks -- some scenes will be familiar to fans of Final Destination, Jacob's Ladder, 28 Days Later and any number of Alfred Hitchcock films. But if the technique is classic, the story is all-too-contemporary: A recent college graduate finds herself drowning in college debt, car debt, and the high cost of her lifestyle. As hard as she tries, she can't escape from the relentless, constant threat of...the red.

Critics, including The Atlantic's Jordan Weissmann, have claimed that the movie exaggerates the student debt problem and have questioned the effectiveness of treating debt as a horror. However, as anyone who has ever been on the debt treadmill can attest, the nightmare is very real. And, for grads facing the harsh light of post-collegiate home economics, an eight-minute horror flick seems like the perfect tool to jump-start a conversation on, budgeting, your way out of debt.

Watch the movie and let us know what you think.

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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I'm there now and the stair of this movie,so how do I get out?

May 13 2013 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe they should make food stamps standard since there are so many poor and unemployed.

May 12 2013 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You might try going after the unfair trade dealers and their cheap labor for all that student loan money.The government insists you get a college education even thought they help send the jobs off shore with your tax $'s.

May 12 2013 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't worry about student debt no one will ever be able to pay it back even if they tried.

May 12 2013 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stay tuned for the next history lesson

May 12 2013 at 9:19 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

I have to go now dears. I have to practice my meaningless babble for an interview tomrrow.
Nighty nite dearest darlings.

May 12 2013 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All I wanted to know is what is peter draggin and if the barkin spiders keep the neighbors up all night darlings.

May 12 2013 at 9:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The boys are being so naughty on here tonight. I know Bill Clinton would be proud darlings.

May 12 2013 at 9:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Margaret Stevenson Scott (1615?-1692) - Though there were several others accused of witchcraft in Rowley, Massachusetts, Margaret Scott would be the only one hanged. She was born about 1615 in England, but immigrated to America somewhere along the line, as she married Benjamin Scott in 1642. The couple would have seven children, though only three would live past their childhood. They first lived in Braintree, Massachusetts, then to Cambridge, before finally settling in Rowley in 1651. Lacking the money to purchase their own land, the town donated some property to the Scotts in 1664. The very next year, Benjamin Scott was convicted of theft, but just six months later he took the Freeman's Oath, indicating he was a church member in good standing. Just a few years later, in 1671, Benjamin Scott died, leaving an estate of only £67 and 17 shillings. Margaret, who was 56 years-old at the time of her husband's death would soon be reduced to begging, which exposed her to accusations of witchcraft.
Another that might have made her a target was the high mortality rate of the children in her family, which often made women vulnerable to suspicion. At the time of her accusations, Margaret was in her 70s and had no family support. She was formally accused of witchcraft by Rowley's most distinguished citizens – the Wicoms and the Nelsons. Formal charges were filed after the daughter of Captain Daniel Wicom became afflicted by witchcraft. The Nelsons helped produce witnesses, and one of the Nelsons sat on the grand jury that indicted her. Several depositions were presented before the Salem Court on September 15, 1692, four of which described the spectral image of Margaret Scott tormenting others. Some of those who were allegedly tormented were Frances Wicom, Mary Daniel, and Sarah Coleman. In the end, Margaret Scott was found guilty of witchcraft and was hanged on September 22, 1692.

May 12 2013 at 8:59 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

If you want to see photos, paintings and other stuff of my early settler family you can view it on the Topix site West Milford NJ. Please salute the statue of Williams Carter W.... Thank you!

May 12 2013 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply