Friday, November 28, 2008

"Where are you, you bitch?!"

"And I wonder, if you know/ What it means, what it means"

What does it mean, exactly? To be so enthralled, hypnotized, captivated by something so appalling and brutal? To write it off as simply "He's a fan of horror, and scary movies" seems a bit unfair, even trivial. Do "fans" replay scenes a good five or six times, and feel as equally mesmerized as the first viewing, which happened eight months ago? Or is it something a bit deeper, a bit more primal?

Or am I just asking pretentious, stupid questions about something that boils down to little more than a perverse fascination with artfully, masterfully executed scenes of mayhem?

Who knows, really. But all I do know is that I've just watched the bitch is ready to fight back sequence from Inside, a French film I've mentioned so many times here that you'd think was a promotional engine or fan site for the shit. The entire movie is gold, brilliance on screen. The more I re-watch, the more I realize that it's easily the best horror film to made, in any country, in about six, seven years. I'll fight such a statement, viciously.


But for reasons largely unknown, I frequently find myself putting the DVD in, and skipping to this particular moment, when Sarah, our reluctant-heroine-with-little-good-fortune, has just been smashed across the face with a toaster, causing her already-battered, pregnant, and blood-drenched body to now fail to generate a breath. She's just torched the face the of Woman in Black, her assailant and hell-dealer, and now Sarah is struggling to move air throughout her lungs. So, like the resourceful SOB that she is, she pokes a hole in her throat with a huge threading needle, and sucks in some oxygen as blood pours from the neck like a hose. Some duct-tape is applied, covering the entry-wound, and now she's ready to bring the pain, back. She puts together a makeshift spear with a butcher knife attached the end of a broomstick, and she's fuckin' focused, man.

The second the spear is compact and set for destruction, the steadily-escalating soundtrack (a blend of 808 heartbeats and frantic electronica, like Daft Punk performing live in Hades) reaches a crescendo of heart-pumping, adrenaline-overdriving euphoria, and this is where my attention always climaxes in a fit of wonder. The music, the scene, the acting, the suspense and dread that's been clinging to a tightrope for over an hour now. All leads me into cinematic nirvana.

And I now wonder what's wrong with me, why I can't get enough of quite possibly one of the most raw, visceral, disturbing bits of movie-magic in recent years.

All I know is, if I can ever write a film with a scene even a quarter as insanely great, I'll be one happy sicko.

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