A new brand of horror?

28 Jun

Friday night Chris and his brother went to the movies, the kids were at their dad’s, and I spent a blissful evening at home alone watching the Dog Whisperer. It was cool because I learned that my dogs aren’t the only poorly behaved dogs, and really there are other dogs that are way, way worse than mine, which was nice affirmation. When they got home, we decided to watch The Girl Next Door, a movie that was on Chiller, which is a channel that shows “scary” shows and movies. Chris and I have watched it before; it has stuff like Twin Peaks, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, nothing scary. So we start watching this movie, and in case you wanted to see it, stop reading, because I’m going to tell what happened. So this movie was beyond fucked up. Basically it’s about this girl, whose parents died in a car accident, and she has to go stay with her aunt. Her aunt is really sick in the head, and has a thing about women and girls, she totally hates them. I think we were supposed to infer that she really hates herself, or something, I don’t know. So anyway, she also has this really weird relationship with all the neighborhood boys, they all hang out at her house, she gives them beer, talks to them about sex in totally inappropriate ways, just acts like a really, really bad parent. So anyway, she starts this horrible torment and torture of this poor girl, first verbal, then physical. Then it just gets downright disrobing. She ties the girl up in the basement and lets (at first) then makes the neighborhood kids beat this girl. They starve her, beat the shit out of her, it was awful, and the mother just stands back and watches. Then it got worse. The torment turns sexual, they end up putting out lit cigarettes on her, burning the words on her stomach so all men will know what a whore she is, rape her, and in the end they “fix” her sexuality with a blow torch. And as Forrest Gump says, that’s all I have to say about that. Ok so anyway, horrible right? Just a reminder this was on regular cable. Not premium, not pay per view, plain old regular cable. I watched the whole movie with a scowl on my face. I kept looking at Chris, and he had the same face, utter disbelief that we were watching this horrible movie. It wasn’t that it was really graphic, I mean it was graphic, but it didn’t really show anything, it was more inferred, they’d explain what they were doing, etc. The problem was, this was just a sick, sick movie. The whole premise of the movie was just so fucked up. This is exactly why I gave up watching horror movies of any kind about a couple of years ago.

I used to watch horror movies all the time, in high school my friend and I watched every Halloween, Children of the Corn, you name it. We loved it, it was fun to be scared. Her (now) husband used to even say that we should get our pizza from “Haddonfield House of Pizza” (the name of the town in the Halloween movies). It was corny and scary and just plain fun. So Chris and I decided one night to watch Hostel. Hostel…is not a horror movie. Hostel is the worst movie on the planet. Ever. It’s this movie about a hostel in some Godforsaken country, and basically people pay to torture people. It is by far the most graphic, most disgusting, most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I watched it almost 3 years ago, and I STILL have nightmares. It was so, so terrible. Again, that’s all I have to say about that. Anyway, I swore off horror movies because I was tired of directors and writers fooling me into thinking that this was the your average run of the mill horror movie: Hostel, the Saw movies, Running Scared (which wasn’t even a horror movie, it had one particular scene that had nothing to do with the plot, but was a blatant attempt at shock/disturbing value by the director/writer. It’s a movie about mafia violence, but this particular scene was about a middle-aged couple who “rescue” children by kidnapping them, torturing and killing them in a rubber room while videotaping it. Totally ridiculous). I’m all for art, I love to write, and hope that someday someone will pay me for it. However, if I sit around and think up new and more disturbing ways to torture people…I shouldn’t be paid, I should be given medication and possibly hospitalization. Maybe it doesn’t mess them up the way it did me, but man, it was awful. So I swore off horror movies. I just think that they’d taken it too far. And I don’t know if I’d ever made it clear before or not, I’m really not very prudish. I’m not one of those people that decides morality for other people, to each their own I say. I have enough of my own crap to worry about, certainly don’t need to tell other people their business. But I’m so sick and tired of the people on networks and movie studios deciding that people need more violence, more gore, more disturbing abuse, torture and sick fucked up head games. NO thanks. I guess its back to romantic comedies and sappy tear jerkers for me. At least they don’t make me question the humanity of people.

By the way, The Girl Next Door was based on a true story. Which just makes the fact that someone decided to rewrite this girl’s abuse and torment in an even more disturbing way without even really telling the girl’s story, just spending 2 hours seeing how far you can push the torture envelope is just sick. It just makes the whole that much worse.

FYI, this is one of those posts that I write when I just feel the need to rant and bitch. To make it perfectly clear, I’m not reviewing these movies, I’m reviewing the practice of shock value in Hollywood.

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