a film-etc blog
Are your fans allowed to say, in our best Oliver Twist voices (not the boring Oliver Twist voices), "More, please?" I'm curious what you love so about this film. I finally saw it this winter amidst my newfound respect for Virginia Madsen, and I liked the film a lot without totally going there with it. Just curious.
I can't say I've ever found it especially frightening. But for starters the formal seductiveness of the movie – it has one of my favourite opening credit sequences in anything, and that Philip Glass score, not all that typically for Philip Glass scores, is a work of genius – draws me back to it again and again. My favourite horror movie is The Shining, which you can expect to find very highly placed indeed on this list, and I think what links these two films is a circularity of conception – a sense of being trapped inside an eternally renewable loop about two people (or in The Shining's case, a man and a building) who belong together, and who time, death and (here) social prejudice can't separate. I've always liked the daring of the race-horror idea: the movie has the balls to admit that a place like Cabrini Green is a locus of dread for middle-class white people, and literalises that dread as an urban myth of disturbing (and disturbingly romantic, specifically sexual) power. For more still, I direct you to a terrific Walter Chaw review over at Film Freak Central, which nails the movie's transgressive agenda and makes good points about Clive Barker, probably the most interesting horror writer I know. All in all, a tour de force for Bernard Rose, whose ivansxtc. nearly made the cut here too - I think the man has talent coming out of his ears. Do keep probing me on these!
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