Deadgirl

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The best horror films are extremely unlikeable, and if that’s the case, then Deadgirl must be among the best, even if it didn’t feel like it.

I honestly didn’t find anything to like in Deadgirl. When it was over, I thought it was so appallingly bad that I thought it must’ve been all a joke, that it was probably satirical or something. I was looking for something that would redeem the movie, maybe some sort of explanation or something, but there was nothing. Before watching the movie, the class was warned about how this would be a disturbing movie. I had seen A Serbian Film before, and I thought it would be something like that…a creepy, disturbing movie that leaves you with a horror you can’t seem to rub off your skin. Maybe I had set my expectations too “high” (or low?) for this movie, and so I was a bit disappointed.

This is another movie that had left a lot of questions unanswered, such as the origin of the original Deadgirl, and what happened to her once she ran off in the end. The supposed deaths of the other characters were also just left hanging, and no one ever seemed to come forward to even wonder what on earth happened to those kids. It may have been all intentional, but to me, it kinda just felt like gaping open plot holes from the first draft of the script. I guess it did have a promising, but shaky, start, but meh, the ending was just…uhm, okay, that’s it? It’s one of those horror movies with an “oh no, it’s not over!” ending, but it wasn’t that unsettling.

The two leads, JT and Rickie, are so unbelievably childish, or just hyperaware of the fact that they won’t get anywhere so they just settled for what they had, for what was already there. JT just made the most of the fact that there was a girl he can fuck any time he pleased, and that he never had to pay for dinners and whatnot before doing so. Rickie, on the other hand, seemed to have a much better working moral compass, refusing to stoop to that level, but in the end, he also ends up fucking a deadgirl…but hey, at least it was his dream girl. Deadgirl is quite creepy and disturbing, I honestly do not understand how JT could’ve possibly seen her as hot and, for lack of a better term, fuckable. I mean, who sees a zombie-like creature, and thinks, “hey, it’s tied up, maybe we could have sex with it!”? Deadgirl really does look like the stuff of horror movies, and I thought that she would have a much better role, and I was excited when she managed to break free but we never get to see her again. She was just an object…an almost literal objectification of women. The guys in the movie all take advantage of the deadgirl, be it the original one or the new one as in Rickie’s case. It can be funny and ridiculous at times, but laughing feels so wrong due to the disturbing things that they were all doing to her. I still don’t think that Deadgirl is a good movie (and perhaps it succeeds in that way) but it is certainly good at unsettling you when it starts tugging at all the wrong strings, making you think of things you don’t want to think of.

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The Cabin in the Woods

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Cabin in the Woods was really quite fun to watch…and this is coming from someone who isn’t a horror movie fan. I was talking to a friend who wasn’t part of the class that this was the next movie we were going to see, and he was all praises for it. He said that it was the deconstruction of a horror film. Indeed it was, taking apart what horror films are and putting it all back together in this ridiculously fun movie. Yeah, I really had fun watching this. Not being a true blue horror fan though, I think I missed out on a lot more.

The first scene was a bit weird for me, since I was expecting a forest-y or at the very least country scenes. Truth be told, I was a bit slow in catching on what those lab scenes were all about. But I appreciated these scenes since they were a break from the obviously scary parts of the movie that follow the five friends. The parts with the friends were so typical of horror movies and thus so predictable, but I still got spooked at times. I found it quite interesting that they were actually the explanation for all the weird things happening to the group. It was different from Triangle, which had no explanation whatsoever for the strange events. I thought at first that they were just filming some sort of twisted version of Big Brother, since they were showing numerous versions all around the world (and Japan’s had little girls! How do they fulfill the archetypes?!?). I thought that that was it, it was just about humans being the real monsters. But lo, there’s another twist! These guys who cheer whenever someone dies a gruesome death in the hands of the undead are actually trying to save the world!

Horror movie endings are, as discussed in class, both happy and sad. These movies disturb the equilibrium, and at the end, this equilibrium may or may not be restored, but this equilibrium will never be quite the same as the old one. The monsters may be gone, but you will always have to deal with the fact that there are monsters. In Cabin in the Woods, however, there isn’t really that sense…it just ends. It isn’t a happy ending, since the world ends. So, I guess it’s a sad ending, but in a way, it’s alright because there’s nothing to terrorize, no one to scare, no one to be scared. The ending of the movie doesn’t make it seem like it’s something that’s already happened (because hey, the world’s still around), which I personally think is how most horror movies get to me. The equilibrium is still undisturbed, for the most part.

But what if that program (or whatever you should call it) is ongoing right now, and the deadline is December 21? Maybe the previous ones had been sucessful after all, and that’s why the world hasn’t ended yet. The next deadline is coming up, and hopefully, the Fool isn’t immune to the mind-control stuff. Well, I just hope then that I don’t get selected for that…and I will avoid outings where we’re only five like the plague.

Triangle

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Well. This was quite unexpected.

I’m not a fan of horror movies, I seem to have ingrained it in my head that all horror movies will scare me silly and rob me of sleep for two weeks, just like when I watched Feng Shui as a kid. I sorely underestimated that film’s ability to terrify me. Coming into this film seminar, I expected more of the similar movies… movies with zombies, ghosts, monsters, coupled with some curses and bleeding creatures. Coming into this class, that was what a horror film was to me.

Triangle, then, was not a horror film. I would have considered it as a suspense or thriller, but not really horror. There weren’t any zombies, ghosts, or monsters, and as it turns out, the “monster” or antagonist is simply the protagonist, Jess, in another loop. The movie was a bit dragging and perhaps a bit confusing in the beginning, since it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere. It was just an accumulation of details up until it repeats again, and then everything starts making sense. It’s not really any creature that’s messing things up, but the actual reality, the actual situation. It’s that which makes it scary or horrific, because you can’t control anything (all your attempts to do so just seem to backfire) and you don’t even get to find out what is controlling everything.

In class, it was discussed how a horror story is a weird story…and weird has roots that ties it to the word fate. People often romanticize the concept of fate, but movies and stories such as Triangle show us otherwise. To have a fate means losing control over your life, that your choices no longer matter, that no matter what you choose, you will always end up in a particular situation. You are doomed to whatever the stars or God or whatever that is that decided that it all be this way. I think this would give die-hard believers in fate quite a scare. In Triangle, it’s all about the horror of losing control, of realizing that your free will means absolutely nothing, and that your very “choices” are what leads to all this horror unfolding.

Triangle is not a horror film that makes you squirm and freak out whenever something moves in the corner of your eye. It’s a lot more subtle… freaking you out when suddenly an unfamiliar place becomes eeriely familiar, a jarring deja vu. After watching it that day in class, I was pretty much fine, not really bothered by anything I had seen in the movie (okay, except maybe for the part where the girl dying over and over again is shown. That was a bit icky.). It was when I was walking to my next class when it dawned on me that I would be walking this path over and over again throughout the semester. I wondered, what if I was just in a loop like Jess, just going through the motions because I had to, or because I thought it was my choice. The horror was like molasses creeping up on me, slow and deliberate. In a way, it was less scarier than the horror movies as I had known them, but at the same time, it was a lot scarier. No explanation was ever given for why Jess went through that, and why it was her. It all just happened, and sort of fell into place. Or was already in place. Fate, I guess.

What was a bit creepy for me too was that after this class, I had Philosophy, and what we discussed that day was freedom, about whether we were just reacting to some stimuli and going through the motions or we were totally free and must create our own meaning and lives. Hmm. Well, if I am stuck in some similar loop, I just hope I don’t have to kill my friends over and over again.