Friday, October 19, 2018

Horror's History with Violence Against Women, feat. Tragedy Girls, Evil Eye, & What Have You Done to Solange?

Previously: The Lobster and The Killing of the Sacred Deer

Every October I devote at least one blog post to Giallo films, but I have to deviate this year.

Giallo is a fascinating genre, and I owe Ryan Boyd for helping me jump into it. These are Horror movies about people who are guilty of something, or who got too close to the orbit of crime to wash the dirt off of them. Giallo lets its protagonists be wrong in ways no other sub-genre of Horror does.

But they are also sleazy, eager to sexualize young women and assault them in ways that can be even more off-putting than American Slashers. Some of the most lauded Giallo have problematic art to how they like to destroy girls. This month, after a year of #MeToo and yet another suspect of sexual violence being voted onto the U.S. Supreme Court, I have to interrupt the Giallo vibes a bit. Horror has too few ladies who get to be the killer and be proud in the way it lets Freddy, Jigsaw, and Pennywise.

So today we're going to look at two Giallo films and how they treat women - but only after we look at The Tragedy Girls, a Horror Comedy about a pair of BFFs who are tired of waiting around to be filler victims. These girls are going to become the killers, and get famous off of it.

Tragedy Girls (2017)
Tragedy Girls doesn't care that the bar for women in modern Horror is to be strong heroines who fight against cruelty. It happily picks two teen girls, who are petty and sometimes hilariously short-sighted, and makes them both the lead characters and the killers. The opening of the movie is one of them pretending to neck with a local boy in the efforts to fish out a serial killer.

Oh, they don't want to stop they killer. They want to catch him and study under him. This business is hard and they want professional advice.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Halloween List: The Lobster and The Killing of the Sacred Deer

Jump Back To: Office, Unfriended: Dark Web, and Calibre

Finally I’ve gotten around to seeing the works of Yorgos Lanthimos! I’ve heard about the Greek director for what feels like a decade, but never got my hands on his movies. Today we’re taking in a double feature of his two most recent works from A24: The Lobster and The Killing of the Sacred Deer. They manage to feel strongly like they have to be A24 movies, while also not being quite comparable to any other A24 movies. My biggest takeaway was a need to see a third Lanthimos movie just to get a grasp on his style.

The Lobster (2015)

In the midst of a dystopia, people who don’t love anyone are shipped in droves to hotel-like centers for re-education. They are given 45 days to fall in love or else they will become animals. For more than half the movie we don’t know what the outside world is like, and wonder if the entire planet is a series of dystopic hotels like this, split up by farms of former humans.

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Halloween List: Office (Korean), Calibre, & Unfriended: Dark Web

Previously: Ghoul and Erased

Office (2015)

From now on whenever someone asks me whether I prefer the British or American Office, I’ll answer, “The Korean.”

Hong Won-chan’s Office is a movie holding a massive beef with corporate culture. Before the title card we get a deliberate pairing of scenes: a mentally shattered office manager going home for the evening and murdering his family, followed by a temp worker breathlessly sprinting to work the next morning to check in on time. That’s Office’s thesis statement: fear for your job is stronger than fear for your life.
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