Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lady Parts Episode 16: Mea Culpa...or why horror is just the worst

R.I.P. SS Georgie...and me
I'm sorry. I did not watch all of It. I tried to watch It. I really did. I was determined and I
promised. I noped out hard and I regret nothing. But I do need to apologise. I failed you, and for that I am sorry.

In my defense, I was very clear how much I dislike horror. Like, a lot. I was also promised the world's largest choc-top - that I am still waiting for - so this is not entirely my fault.

But it is mostly my fault. The circumstances were probably not the best. Still riding a post-workout high, I scurried to my friend's house to shower/change real quick to make it to the 9.15pm session with enough time to eat dinner which ended up being pizza and filled with gluten and chessy goodness which did not alleviate my nervous energy at all. All of the movie previews were horror movies and that is stupid and then the new Saw movie preview came on and I may have rage blacked out. My friend doesn't like horror either and I also hate clowns and this was a bad life choice.

I tell you all this because while I had good intentions, I may not have created an optimum viewing
environment. I did get one of those recliner seats, but it was not enough to calm the dread. And as a result, I was out of there within 30 minutes.

The Losers Club
It wasn't bad (what I saw of it). Design, cast, soundtrack - all good. In fact the soundtrack was a saving grace. It was so well-crafted that I knew exactly when the fright was coming - and that helped cue the hands over the eyes. That is a good thing for a horror movie soundtrack, but the tension never truly stopped. Everything about these kids' lives was monstrous. Their parents, their peers, school, home, jobs, the town, all were generally stressful and gross, and the soundtrack, as glorious as it was, ratcheted the tension to a 12 at all times. There was very little down time - between Pennywise and the circumstances of life. And the film suffers for it.

Having no down time meant their grisly deaths were almost welcome. The few fleeting moments where their friendships were not under pressure from bullies or violence or a psychotic manifestation of fear (why clowns!!!!) were lovely, but not long enough to establish a stable emotional baseline, and that baseline is why horror and thriller are effective. The threat to that stability/normalcy makes the terror meaningful and this felt empty.

Because I cannot look at his face in full ever again
As good as this cast is, they cannot rise above a script designed to shock you without endearing the victims to you first. And it would not have taken much. Their fears are real, but unsubstantial or unsubstantiated, and for a monster that thrives on fears, you want the fear to mean something, and the victims to mean something to the audience, and they never truly do. It's a shame because the production team, the design, the cast, all the elements are there for a better movie, as opposed to just a successful one.

What I saw was good, but was it great? If I ever watch the ending, I'll let you know. It has made a bajillion dollars so far, so I concede I may not be the target audience.

In summary, horror is bad. And Sophie still owes me a choc-top.

Side note: Bill Skarsgård is highly effective and convincingly terrifying, and I'll never look at him the same way again.

We review the latest Stephen King adaptation, It, and Darren Aronofsky’s return to psychological thrillers, mother! in the latest Lady Parts Podcast. Check it out over at the Lady Parts website.

Also this great comic story from Sanesparza - me though.

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