Repression and Subversion

Horror can be used to understand the society’s subconscious. Horror is a radical genre because it is political and socially subversive since it shows ideas and practices repressed in the society. The theme of the movie, Grace, is rooted in reality hence it is very disturbing.  In this film, horror is dependent on certain ideas considered as common sense, such as motherhood and sexuality.  It shows the ideas, practices, and values that we marginalize in the society and consider as abnormal. The film basically shows things what we do not usually talk about but presents it as if it is normal. The movie subverts stereotypes we consider as normal and presents these marginalized ideas. Repression is necessary for people and society to function.

Men are stereotyped as dominant, strong, and sexual. Firstly, women were portrayed as the dominant figures to whom their husbands succumb to. Women are expected to be pure, prim and proper and meek.  A woman with the “morals of a man” is considered a slut.  In the beginning of the movie, Madeline was shown unsatisfied and dispassionate with the love making because she just wants to conceive. It can be implied that she was using the man to have a baby. Secondly, the film shows how women initiate and enjoy sex and other sexual activities. The old woman initiated the sexual activity. Thirdly, women are portrayed as strong individuals. Madeline was able to kill the doctor, who was a giant compared to her, in just one blow to the head. In summary, the movie portrayed the women to be dominant over the men.

Nowadays, homosexuality and same sex marriage is a big debate. The movie presents homosexuality as if it was normal. Madeline and Patricia (the midwife) had a relationship and eventually eloped in the end of the movie. Also, Patricia’s secretary likes Patricia. Although the movie presents heterosexuality, homosexuality was emphasized in the movie.

In addition, typical media would often show sexy scenes between young and attractive individuals. However, I find the sexy scene between the old couple very awkward and disturbing. The movie shows that old people still engage in sexual activities.

The movie is not really scary; rather it is very disturbing, twisted, and freaky because of the gruesome events. The film heavily used metaphors and imagery such as blood, meat, carcass and milk. Babies were depicted as a bloodthirsty monster. In contrast to the usual notion that babies are angels or blessings. The baby was named “Grace.”  However, the baby is a monster, not a meek child, who drinks blood. The most disturbing part of the movie is when the baby chews off Madeline’s breasts.  

In reality, those who watch macabre shows are stereotyped as weird, violent, and etc. Madeline enjoys watching the slaughtering of animals in violent and graphic animal TV show which she called a vegan horror movie. The film implies that watching this kind of shows is “normal.”

Overall, I liked the movie because it is very graphic and interesting. I like the way how the movie presented the repressed ideas as if they were normal. Imagine a world where everyone can just act on their desires. 


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