Deadgirl

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I feel that I have a lot to say about Deadgirl, not just within the context of what has been discussed in class, but also from a production perspective. I have to admit that I did not find the film good technically. First of all, there were a lot of grey areas in the plot, a lot of situations were left unresolved at the end, and most of the characters did not represent real people at all. If Deadgirl’s aim was to show us that in the end it’s us who are the monsters and it’s humans who do the most horrific acts, then perhaps I can accept that the film was made in such a way to give us the most exaggeratedly horrible people it could.

For example, JT was the high school burnout-turned-psycho. He was probably the kind of kid who would lead a school shooting simply out of boredom. His character is so terrible that I cant ever imagine coming across someone like him in my own school. Then we have Rickie the wallflower. Only, he’s not just like your Logan Lerman type of wallflower (the nice, quite kind), he’s the creepy kid who slinks around in the library stalking your girlfriend, telling her weird things randomly. Lastly, we have Joann, who is probably the character I dislike the most. If Joann is supposed to represent most high school girls these days then I feel terrible for the future generation. Beyond being the most clichéd character in the film, she was nothing but a superficial girl who only cared about her social status. She could barely even stand being caught talking to Rickie, simply because he was that ‘weird kid’. I didn’t like the film mostly because I found no characters to root for. It became a little tiring for me to watch a bunch of kids I didn’t like make their lives more and more complicated by being terrible people. But if the point of the film was to highlight just how terrible people can get when they’re put in certain situations, then I guess it did a pretty good job there.

Going back to the technical aspects of the film, the one thing that bothered me the most was the tone. I felt like the tone that the director was trying to set wasn’t really matching up to the theme of the film. The story was turning into such a sick combination of sex, obsession, deception, misogyny and all of these things, but the music was always this kind of slow piano music and the transitions were always fade-to-blacks and cross fades  and I really felt that a slow and dramatic setting was not a good backdrop for what was going on in the film.

Anyway, moving on from the technicals, I guess I can say that the film is interesting. There are a lot of horror films these days that play around with sexual horror. One film I like to compare this to is Teeth. In Teeth, the main character had some sort of monstrous vagina that she ended up being able to control. She used it at one point to get back at certain men who treated her badly in the past. In this movie, it was the woman who was the monster. At first she used it only as a means of defending herself, but after a while she started using it for more evil purposes A lot of people said that Teeth was the one horror movie that was bound to scare all kinds of men, precisely because the men were the victims here, and the men in the movie were being stripped of their “manhood”. Deadgirl plays around these ideas as well, showing us how horrible humans can become. However in Deadgirl, the men are driven by their repression and their thinking that “it doesn’t get any better than this” for them. It’s a little sad when you think about it.

All in all, Deadgirl is an interesting film in the way it depicts men, women, and gender and sexuality in general.

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Triangle

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As a self-proclaimed fan of horror I always assumed I had a firm grasp on what a horror film was actually constituted of. I was pretty sure I had the understanding that the presence of a ‘monster’, whether it was in the form of an actual monster, a ghost, an alien, or a human pushed to insanity or demonic possession, was what made a horror movie a horror movie. Even the Blair Witch Project, which never really showed you the ‘monster’, showed you that there was something tormenting the protagonists, and there was something that was to be feared.

So when the first film shown in our horror film class was a film that did not contain any sort of monster that terrorized the protagonists at all, but instead a situation or, if I may, a destiny that was terrifying, that opened my eyes and made me realize how much broader the horror genre was and ultimately how much more powerful it is, in that it can tap so many other branches of fear that we don’t even realize sometimes.

The absence of a ‘monster’ in this movie shifted my views and stirred some very interesting emotions in me. First, the presence of a monster in a horror movie means that the protagonists are somewhat in charge of their fate, that they still kind of have the power to destroy the monster, and that they can tap into whatever it is in themselves to destroy the being that is threatening their lives. However in Triangle, the ‘monster’ is an unknown force encompassing the world of the main character. It’s something seemingly inescapable and unbeatable, as the structure of the story appears to be that of a spiral, constantly expanding, with every twist turning into a trap that digs the protagonist in a deeper hole, but also making the world a bigger one. The structure of the story is somewhat a paradox in that as the range of the world in which the protagonist is trapped in gets bigger, that certain feeling of entrapment gets worse.

At first, I judged the film based on the usual horror movie formula, and how it didn’t seem to fit it so much. For example, although the pace of the film in the beginning, and the way the main character acted were indeed gloomy and sad, the coloring and tone was unusually bright for a scary movie. Also, the way the girl acted in the beginning seemed a little cliché, where she was the “strange misunderstood” girl who had a lot of problems but would be the special one who would eventually survive in the end. But I learned that all these things would add up in the end. It was really interesting to see myself get proven wrong for judging her in the beginning when it’s revealed that the way she acted in the beginning came from something incredibly significant after all.

Lastly, I enjoyed how the film didn’t try to explain itself. And I especially liked it when the only sliver of an explanation was when the main characters talked about the myth of Sisyphus. It wasn’t really an explanation for what was going on, it was more of a way of setting up for the audience that something like this was going to happen.

It’s a very interesting movie, and although there are still some plot holes I find that it is incredibly well done. Despite not being a fast-paced ghost movie, I find this to be one of the most terrifying movies I’ve seen in a while.