Ginger Snaps

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Puberty, one of the most confusing stages of a person’s life, is a combination of unbalanced hormones, unreasonable judgement, and a change in body structure. Most adolescence find this portion of their lives very ‘horrorifying’ and confusing because it becomes the stage of rediscovery. They begin to uncover things they never even knew existed. Being surrounded by new ideas, people, changes, and environment, especially during adolescence, can surely bring out the creative mind of a teenager. Ginger snaps portrays adolescence through the eyes of two very different girls, two girls who see this stage of life as something stupid because deep inside they afraid of changing.

                It is indeed interesting how the movie plays with the idea of werewolves and adolescence. In mythological or folkloric stories being transformed into a werewolf was considered a curse. On the other hand werewolves are also seen as a creature that holds immense power and strength. Same goes for the idea of being adolescence, for most part people see it as an unending chapter of horror and pain while others see it as the beginning of being something more or even being untouchable. Ginger snaps somehow captures that chapter of every person’s life. A period of fear of trying to grasps one’s place during a very confusing moment in time. Ginger and Brigitte’s portrayal as being an adolescent is parallel to the conception of the transformation of a werewolf – rather seen as a metaphor. The experience of being a teenager is but a gruelling and ugly experience everyone must go through. In my opinion this portrayal of adolescence was very good. It definitely showed the horrors of going through the dramas and the uncertainties of a teenager. Just as we have mentioned over and over in class, the unknown is one of the most terrifying places to be in.

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Too much

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Blood, knives, screaming, boobs, beer, sex, and murder were the main themes of this movie. All those words, if I were to categorize, sum up a very typical male horror movie. How can one go wrong with sex and murder to gather up the male audience? Halloween very much objectified and used the female species for its own pleasure. I indeed sound very feminist but it surely made me feel terrible as a woman. Not the same kind of horrible that Grace depicted rather it made me feel like a tool or pawn in someone’s chess game. It lowered my sense of womanhood, my independence and my strength. I honestly hated the movie not only because of how it portrayed women but more likely because of its plot. There seemed to be a cyclical pattern on the climax of every frightening or scary scene. The cycle would be usually begun with boobs, sex and beer. After those three have shown, here swoops in Michael ready for the kill. Somehow every time Michael begins to kill he immediately kills the male in the scene making the victim experience death quickly. Unlike the female counterparts, it seems that they make Michael play with them and make their pain last for as long as Michael can.

                This movie really focused on women enduring pain for long periods. It made it look like a kid playing with his food, throwing, stabbing, and moving it as he pleases. It was dreadful having to watch the movie and tolerate seeing these women suffer. It was also dreadful watching the same plot occur over and over again – boobs, beer, sex and blood. Watching the movie made me feel angry and annoyed. Angry because I really detested the roles of the women and annoyed because it felt like I wasted my time.  There was no real story or good character formation.  Overall the lesson, the plot, the characters, and themes were very disappointing. Though it may be all about boobs, sex, alcohol and blood there are some movie with those main themes but are able to make a good horror movie. For me Halloween was not one of those movies. I left the classroom wanting to remove all the negative energy from the movie. It could be just me feeling this way about Halloween. I do not entirely understand horror movies that fall under this category. These kinds of movies require a specific taste and it definitely is not mine.

What is normal?

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What is the norm in our society on the roles and characteristics of males and females? The traditional way would be, males are generally more aggressive, alpha male, bread winner, and are not suppose to show feelings. On the other hand, women are thought to be emotional, sensitive, housekeeping and child rearing and it seems like these social standards spill over into media. It is interesting how we continually see the difference on how horror movies portray female and male characters. We see the distinction of plots, values, themes and personalities.  Let me in was no different in showing that delineation.

                Yet again, we come to face a female ‘monster’ character and how does it differ from all previous horror movies we’ve seen so far? I have noticed and placed similarities between the male and female character. It seems that when it revolves around females the main themes are always linked with her feelings, emotional aspect, while the male character always revolves around gore, testosterone, and blood. Well, of course, blood and all other aspects of the usual male role can also be seen within the female characters. The only difference is when it comes to the female characters it is always subtle. They introduce it slowly as compared to the male counterparts they just shove it to your face – a in your face kind of thing. It is very straight to the point. Let me in follows those norms to a certain extent. The difference is it seems that Eli’s character was more aggressive and imposing. She definitely wore the pants in the relationship. Even if Eli was portrayed as a girl, she did not see herself as a girl. Meanwhile Oskar held the more effeminate role. It seemed like Eli was the protector and Oskar was the protected. We see a reversal of the common understanding of how a female or male should be. Though, nonetheless there still was presence of these norms. But who could blame them both? Eli had power that Eli may not get unless Eli decides to change Oskar.

                We can definitely see the influence of society towards media, even in horror films. These norms and roles of each gender are definitely carried over and these biases towards a particular gender are still very evident. Even if gender equality is very much pushed, it is noticeable that tradition is very difficult to change and our old ways of thinking will continually to influence us. Unless, we do something about it.

Power is Ultimate

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I was very much excited to hear that Rec had a sequel to find out how the producers would continue the story intrigued me. Rec greatly symbolized the secrecy of probably every government and the interplay of religion and the government. Yet we see that one institution seems to have the higher power over the other. In this continuation we see even more secrets each institution has kept from the society but we realize that there is one major institution that seems to have the ultimate power over everyone – the Catholic Church. From here we can see how the lack of separation between the church and state can possibly create chaos.

Again we see can the government playing an active role in trying to maintain peace and order. It seems that in order to maintain this order the government does it by hiding information from the society and if people try to find out, freedom of information, they are silenced before they get a chance to speak. Just like how the teenagers snuck in into the building, we see a direct analogy at how freedom of speech is thrown down the drain. This freedom of speech is symbolized with the video camera they held while entering into the building and as we saw in the movie; they were prohibited and scolded for having one. Again we see the desire of control the government and church contain. But this desire for power and control is more evident within the Catholic Church, to the point of lying about the identification of the priest. But this time not only do we see the façade, the government and the church hold, the movie also shows how religion has driven us to just follow without questioning. What we have always known to be familiar has become unfamiliar. The secret world the Church has been hiding is a few only dare to adventure. Again we are placed in the world of the unknown – a place that everyone feels uncomfortable. This is where we see the horror within the film; the secrets, the demons, the lies – the unknown.

Rec 2 was an average film for me, though I was pretty surprised the way the movie ended. I definitely did not expect it. 

Language the Driving Force

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Everyday, we use words to relay what we feel and think. We use words to communicate with each other even if at times we may not be truly listening. English, the world’s universal language, has connected people from all over. English is the most dominant language and it is the language that brings people to places. It has been seen as the language that can make one successful. It was instilled in us that we MUST learn to speak english, knowing our native tongue is not enough.  I always knew words had the power to affect people but they always said words are just words. Actions speak louder but that wasn’t the case in Pontypool. Pontypool has to be one of the wittiest horror films I have seen, to be able to use such a mundane act and twist it into something complex and significant. Not only does it use words but specifically the english language, how we have become too attached to learn and speak this ‘universal tongue’.

                Pontypool makes us realize the horror of becoming so obsessed with a language; language that can make our dreams come true; a language that so many people desire to learn. Let have the Koreans as an example. They would even leave their own country just to learn english. Pontypool makes us see how we have turned into zombies desiring to speak this foreign tongue. We have become slaves in our own reality not recognizing that we should take hold and be proud of our native tongue. I too am I victim of this. I grew up making English my first language and thinking that it is the more superior. Hence, I have ended up just like the citizens of Pontypool.

                This movie is an eye opener. It makes us understand that language can become the antagonists in our well-being. The monster that destructs all of us. The horror of our lives

Uncanny

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It is a very rare sight to see a woman behind the knife, the one who plots the deaths of others for her own enjoyment. Usually the main protagonists in horror movies revolve around the men. Women are commonly casted as supporting roles or victims. It was surely a fresh thing to see and from there one can tell the difference when the woman is the leading character.

                Very often, if not all the time, the male protagonists – rather antagonists – in horror films are depicted as violent, aggressive, arrogant, and manly.  Meanwhile, as seen in May, May was first seen as quiet, soft spoken, innocent, and adorable. These women ‘antagonists’ are first portrayed as angels who can do harm but when harassed they instantly change becoming into monsters. This was evident in the beginning of the movie. How May the very shy and quiet little girl turned into a decapitating nurse. The similarities between the female and male antagonists are experiences of their past. They typically follow the path of a young kid being bullied by others, experience a very restricting childhood, or possible were made fun of by their parents or family. These portions of their lives bring them to release all the hate and resentment that has been repressed for years, like a balloon being blown until it pops. May, was indeed a very interesting movie. The acting, the story line and the script of the movie is very real to life.  It is actually quite creepy because it is very possible. It could definitely happen in any given occasion. Her desire for perfect can be seen in a number of the human population. Bringing to think, would people go that far to create a perfect world? Or in May’s case a perfect friend? Even if the movie did have show any suspense filled scenes, the thought of there could be someone like May is frightening. It makes me want to hide all my “beautiful” body parts.  I guess that is what it makes to be a good horror film, the audience’s fear of the probability of the movie. How these fictional characters and stories can be seen in our daily lives.

Two faced

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As social beings, we, humans are not meant to live alone. A number of us fear not finding a special friend to be with all through our lives. This fear has led many individuals to go beyond certain rules even to the point of deceiving others to get what we want. But once we have found that friend, many stake their lives in order to keep that friend all to ourselves without even knowing for sure whether that friend is truly being their self. Jealousy becomes a big factor in the friendship and once it takes over it makes people do things we thought we were never capable of.
Voice perfectly depicted the interaction of jealousy, one’s true self and friendship. These interactions were slowly shown throughout the movie. The movie was very good at fooling the viewers on the personalities of certain characters. At the beginning of the movie it showed Sun-min and Yeoung-on being very clingy best friends as if everything was fine. But little did we know the evil that surrounds them all. After Sun-min dies we were shown her innocence and pureness. We were swayed to believe that she all but deserves to be heard – she deserves a voice. Pity was the first feeling that engulfed me. Being scared and all alone, I felt for Sun-min’s sadness. I wanted to believe that she was still alive that her soul was only trapped and her body hiding somewhere else. But when those flashbacks first showed, I could not understand what was happening. At first, I thought these were all lies that a certain individual was trying to convince us that Sun-min was wicked. But all along these flash backs were all but true. The home of Sun-min said it all. She lived a double life and all that cares for was a voice or, even better, a body. Her yearning and jealousy to live was too strong to be reckoned with. Her evil soul inevitably took over.
I find it sad how Sun-min’s soul was troubled and confused. Not knowing who she really was is scary feat but what is even worse is discovering that one has lived a life of lies, treachery and impiousness. For Yeoung-on side, to realize that your best friend was someone else is also a horrific feeling; to be betrayed by someone you loved. But the scariest of them all is jealousy. How jealousy can lead us into doing evil to point of killing and hurting the ones we love. Voice shows us just that and if we allow this feeling to consume it will destroyed oneself and the people around you. For me voice was a very good movie. It shows the dark capabilities of a person. It also reminds that we must be aware of who we trust. Lastly, it tells us that we must contain these ominous desires and that we must not let them take over.