Monday, August 28, 2006

New York Ripper - horror film of the millennium -it showcases the inevitable truth - plus, finally my 2 cents on The Descent

I must say I am turning into to one of those people who is an example of everything that is wrong with America. When it comes to movies in the theater, I just can't wait for opening weekend, but then, if I somehow miss it, I forget about that movie and get excited for the next big thing. What is this? Am I addicted to hype? Well the good news is that I did get myself down to the Chinese Theater to see The Descent even though I'm a few weeks too late. What a movie! Scary as hell, I was literally twitching in my seat! I think it nailed the essence of horror in several ways, but what I really want to talk about today is how Lucio Fulci's 1982 New York Ripper nails the meaning of horror perfectly, and is one of the greatest films of all time.

Spoilers... I'm not talking about the realism of the violence, which is spectacular in it's own way, but rather the extremely harsh and depressing end to the film. When the amputee, the dying child, calls up his father to call for more violence against the able-bodied, and no longer gets an answer - we know that the child is left alone forever, to die alone in the hospital without love. I don't think any filmed scenario in horror history has shown us the true meaning of horror in such a heavy way before. If the child were innocent, and not in part responsible for his father's crimes, then this scenario would be so tragic that it would probably not succeed it moving us - it would be overkill. However, the child is seriously flawed, like us, and we know that this fate which is to befall him is somewhat fair, and therefor scary. Bad things, even unfair and uncontrollable bad things, like illness, bring forth more bad things and evils. Coincidentally The Descent showed us the same phenomenon. Sarah's troubles should have ended when her husband and daughter died in an accident, but she was destined for much worse and in the end her own actions were questionable. How many horror movies feature characters who grew up without families, or with handicaps, or other insane hardships? Many. These characters are sometimes the heroes, but they can be the villains too. It would be just so nice if they were all heroes. That would feel good, but no, horror - and life - is not like that.


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