Get Out: 6 hidden moments that lured us under its hypnotic spell

Tags

DESCRIBED AS A social thriller, Get Out is fast becoming the must-see horror film of the year.

Brought to the screens by the brilliant Jordan Peele, with his sharp observations on society and culture.

In particular, Get Out focuses on the racial divide in America.

Whilst there are some moments that are blatant statements of the issues faced in the US, there are some that are a little more subtle.

So many layers are placed in this movie that when watching, you almost feel like you’ve transcended into your very own ‘sunken place’, paralysed by in Peele’s world, searching for a way out of the madness that surrounds our central character, Chris.

Here are 7 Key moments that you may have missed on first viewing

  1.   “Run” 
    It’s a common theme within the movie – more prominent with the song Run, Rabbit Run, that’s played at the start of the movie, but emphasised even more so, with a Swahili song that also feature in the movie, which when translated, tells us to listen to your ancestors, and run.
  2. No trace of I.D.
    When Rose hits a deer with the car, did anyone notice her lack of empathy?
    Chris is drawn to see the deer as it instantly reminds him of his own mother, who was knocked down in a hit and run, but when the cops arrive,
    Rose is very quick to defend Chris and not let the Cop force home to give out his drivers licence.
    On face value, this might seem like an empowering moment as she stands up for her man, but in light of what transpires later in the movie, could be viewed as Rose covering her tracks.
    If there’s no record of her and Chris being together, she can hide all trace of his inevitable disappearance.
  3.   The Black Buck
    Briefly mentioned by Rose’s father with an off-hand comment, with his lack of love for bucks or deer is actually racist slur in post-reconstruction America.
    It was used by those in white authority on Black men who refuse to ‘tow the line’.
  4.   Silver spoon
    Speaking of bowing to authority, the method that Missy uses for her hypnosis treatment labours the point further around ‘White supremacy’ with the aid of a silver spoon.
    A symbol of how the elite can rule and control those in a ‘lesser’ position.
  5.   Cotton picker
    Slightly more obvious is Chris’ method of escape. When tied down, he literally has to pick the cotton embedded in the chair, in order to win his freedom.
    It’s a strong and profound moment in the movie.
  6.   Froot Loops and Milk divided.
    Believing that all is in order, Rose resorts to her basic behaviour and let’s her guard down in search for her next victim.
    Whilst she does this, Rose eats some Froot Loops on their own before consuming some milk.
    An odd behaviour in itself, but on closer scrutiny symbolises the separation of colour from the white that is deeply embedded in her psyche.

It feels as though I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with this one.

Get Out is so deeply layered that it warrants a repeat viewing or two to really appreciate Peele’s work.

And with the promise of several more social thriller instalments on the way, I can’t wait to see what Peele serves up next.

  • Paul Farrell

Devil Woman – Interview with Heidi Lee Douglas

Tags

, , ,

Heidi Lee Douglas.

If her name isn’t one your register, it should be.

An award winning writer, director who garnered recognition with her political/social film Defendant 5, Heidi Lee Douglas documented the destruction of Tasmania’s rainforest, only to suddenly find herself thrust into a legal battle.

The right of free speech was being stifled, and yet she persisted in getting the project out of the wilderness and into the limelight.

Since then, Lee Douglas has formed her own company, Dark Lake Productions with amazing results including the short gothic thriller, Little Lamb.

Now though, she has turned her attention to a new project, Devil Woman, a smart horror film that takes the viewer directly into the coal-face of human conflict over our relationship with the environment.

The film draws from the world of zombies and shape-shifters, with the added flavour of Lee Douglas’ penmanship that adds a unique voice in the horror genre.

It’s an Australian story that embodies the diverse terrain of the Tasmanian landscape.

Devil Woman is currently looking for support through crowd-funding via pozible, so if this piques your interest, then head on over and contribute.

Want to know more? Well the Surgeons team recently had the opportunity to sit down with Heidi Lee Douglas to discuss this passion project. Check out the podcast below.

https://player.whooshkaa.com/player/episode/id/99459?visual=true

Links:
https://pozible.com/project/devil-woman
@devilwomanfilm

 

 

 

Alien (1979)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Following the success of his film school feature Dark Star, which he collaborated with John Carpenter, Dan O’Bannon would team with his house mate, Ronald Shusett to create (arguably) the best and most iconic science fiction horror movie to date.

Once the screenplay was in place, the perfect recipe started to formulate with some fresh new faces, starting with the director, Ridley Scott with his sophomore feature, still at a point where he was willing to take on a few risks.

There must have been something that resonated deep down with Scott too, as he has returned to the franchise at the helm with 2012’s Prometheus, this years’ Alien: Covenant, and the promise of more to come.

Joining alongside him would be fellow fresh-faced actress, Sigourney Weaver, and along with it, her take on the protagonist, Ellen Ripley, would be a pioneer in the industry, paving the way for more like-minded, strong, female characters to come.

Sure, we’ve still got a long way to come yet, but Ripley is still held highly amongst fans and cinema-lovers across the globe.

Her journey would span across another 3 movies in the franchise, such was her resonance.

It helped too that her fellow cast members, all prolific in their own right would elevate, (essentially a haunted house story, albeit set in space) high, not just in the genre, but in film history.

Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Veroncia Cartwright, and Yaphet Kotto all lend valuable weight to the proceedings.

As does the visual cinematography (Derek Vanlint) and the design, headed up by H.R. Giger, who created the look and feel of the alien creature in all it’s transitions; egg, face-hugger, baby xenomorph, to its adult version.

The film drips and oozes such an amazing treat for the senses, that it’s not surprising that it still stands the test of time.

To celebrate #alienday, the Surgeons of Horror team took it upon themselves to discuss this movie, that rightfully has become a classic.

Check out our in-depth discussions on iTunes or through our podcast feed below.

https://player.whooshkaa.com/player/episode/id/99074?visual=true

  • Paul Farrell

Bye Bye Man (2016)

Tags

USUALLY I would try to school up a bit before watching a horror movie, which is hard to do without coming across a few spoilers.

In this instance, I’d managed to steer clear of any online chatter, namely because it didn’t receive much fan fare out here.

(Which in of itself is something of a give away).

So, I pretty much went into this cold.

So there’s only up from there, right?   Right?

Regardless I ploughed straight in and immersed myself into the movie, willing, welcoming the storyline to hit me with the best killer punch it could offer.

Instead, all I got was a lacklustre effort to introduce a new ‘monster’ to scare the new generation.

And all I could think was, ‘What ever happened to the good old days of Freddy, Jason, and Michael?’

Why does Hollywood find it so hard to introduce a new villain to the horror genre?

Is it that we have become so conditioned with the mainstream output that we can no longer be subjected to the true sense of horror villainy ever again?

Did the likes of Craven, Carpenter, and Cunningham / Miner plant such a strong foothold in the arena, that it’s proven so hard to shake ourselves free of those shackles?

We’ve had a few instances of it since with Sadako/Samara in the Rings franchise, but even then, the last outing left us wanting.

More recent successes in the genre have stemmed from the Everyman or the psychological arena to produce the scares, with the Mumblegore movement proving highly successful as a result.

So, where do we go from here?

Can we expect a return to these kind of movies again?

And more importantly will the impending It movie prove to be the movie to change all this?

There’s certainly a lot of pressure on Andrés Muschietti to deliver.

Right now though, we are subjected to the Bye Bye Man, where you can’t think or say his name or else you’ll feel the wrath of his bony finger or a slobbering bloody hound.

The film does try to pepper in the usual ingredients to make a worthy horror, but instead it gets lost in its own ethos.

There’s seances, psycho killers, and illusions to mess with your head, which plod along nicely enough, but the threat never feels real enough.

And I was a little thrown by the lead, who never really felt charismatic enough for me to care, and I too became lost in wondering who exactly I should root for and why I should actually bother.

There were a couple of surprises, namely in the appearance of Carrie Ann Moss, where the hell ha she been lately?

And a brief cameo from Faye Dunaway declaring La La Land the winner of Best Picture.

Both these women were not enough though to save this film from a dire plot whilst wanting to be something it wasn’t and will never amount to.

It’s a shame, because on paper, it had potential, but the writing was slack and the character development was sorely lacking.

  • Paul Farrell

The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

Tags

,

The short running time of 77mins belies the amount of substance to be found within this movie.

Shot entirely in black and white, The Eyes of My Mother tells the story of Francisca, who lives on a farm with her mother and father.

Her mother is a trained surgeon and teaches Francisca to remove the cows eyeballs, a curious practice that Francisca adopts throughout the movie with questionable methods.

Their lives are turned upside down though when a door to door salesman, Charlie arrives at their house.

A struggle ensues that results in Charlie killing Francisca’s mother. Her father walks in on the act and over powers Charlie and chains him up in the barn.

As Francisca’s father becomes a shell of his former self, Francisca practically raised herself and constantly looks for the affection from her father.

Alone in the world, she spirals into a warped sense of reality where she removes Charlie’s Eyes and vocal chords and keeps him locked up as her ‘pet friend’.

When her father eventually passes away, Francisca becomes truly lost, preserving his body in the bath and reaching out for some sense of love and identity with the world.

It’s a beautiful shot piece with plenty of questions asked around nature vs nurture.

Are we the subject of our surroundings?

And because of this, there is genuine emotion attached to Francisca’s journey.

It packs a hefty punch which had been classed its graphic nature too hard to watch, but Nicolas Pesce’s directorial debut as a must watch and all eyes (hopefully intact) will be on his sophomore outing, Piercing, which is due out next year.

– Paul Farrell

Unfriended (2015)

Tags

, ,

STRAIGHT OFF THE BAT, I should declare that I’m not a big fan of found footage horror.

Don’t get me wrong, when it’s done right, it can be executed really well ala [REC], or The Tunnel, but more often than not, it doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.

And i’s fast becoming a stale genre in my book.

Despite this, Unfriended falls strangely on middle ground.

I have to commend the movie for pushing the horror genre into a contemporary setting and placing it where the current generation spend their time – through social media.

By using this format, we are introduced to a small group of friends and our intended victims.

What I also found intriguing and bold about this movie was the subject of this movie too, cyber-bullying.

A modern concept that had its fair amount of repercussions in an environment that has proved hard to police.

As the film opens up, we are given an indication of the movies intent as our protagonist, (If you can call her that) Blaire surfs the net for the death/suicide of Laura Barns, before Blaire then embarks on a cyber chat with her friends, Mitch, Jess, Adam, Ken, and Val.

However, somewhere along the way, someone has hacked into the chat room and from there on in, a series of games come about which antagonises the group and we slowly learn of their involvement in Laura Barn’s downfall, through the cyber-bullying that they played out on her.

One by one the friendships unravel and they are picked off with gruesome and bloody outcomes.

Who is behind these attacks?

Is it one of them, or could it be the spirit of Laura Barns out for revenge?

As I detailed in my intro, my verdict of Unfriended is that it lay in the middle ground and here is my reasoning.

Whilst it does push the horror genre into new and untested territory, and it certainly delivers a clever and insightful approach to this world, where it falls short is in its characterisation.

As we learn more about the friendship group and their secrets and true personalities rise to the surface, the less likeable they become.

Yes, this does make their comeuppance a deserved and relatable one, the preverbal fly in the ointment is that the audience is left not really giving a shit about what happens to these characters.

A massive flaw in my opinion.

You need to have a character that the audience can identify which otherwise the story falls flat and that is where it left me… Deflated and uninterested.

But its success in the box office and pending sequel seems to say otherwise.

I’d be keen to hear your thoughts.

  • Paul Farrell

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Tags

, , ,

HATS OFF to The Autopsy of Jane Doe for attempting to contain the entire movie within the same “four walls”.

The exception being the prologue, (when the body is discovered) and the epilogue.

This is testament to the acting prowess of the films leads in Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, who most of the scenes involve just the two of them, so they have no choice but to carry the story.

Thankfully, we’re in good hands as they take on the roles of Father/Son team of the Morgue in which the film takes place.

Tommy (the father) has resigned to his role as the town coroner, much like his own father and takes pride in his position.

In some cases it would seem at the expense of forming a solid relationship with his son, especially with the absence of a mother figure.

Austin (the son) has spent most of his life trying to fill the chasm between his himself and his father.

He becomes a medical practitioner and studies under his father’s guise, but with one eye on the outside world, whilst feeling forever entombed.

The beauty of this film comes with the arrival of the Jane Doe, and the beginning of their dissection, when supernatural elements begin to occur.

The deeper their investigation goes, the more scars that appear in their lives, and the darker their domain becomes.

The scare and thrill factors are secondary to the humanity that is on show, which some horror fans may be disappointed by, but there is enough gore and blood on show to rise this psychological, supernatural horror above the level of most its recent counterparts in the genre and is a gem of a movie as a result.

– Paul Farrell

Antibirth (2016)

Tags

, , ,

THIS MOVIE slipped under the radar last year, and whilst part of me can understand the reasons why.

Largely this movie is not to everyone’s taste and it’s raw, independent vibe can put certain viewers off, who are used to the polished, Hollywood mainstream.

Antibirth though is definitely worth of closer scrutiny as it embarks in an area not often looked upon, body horror, and even more so, the effect of pregnancy.

It often feels like a strange hybrid between something that David Cronenberg would produce and 1997’s Nowhere, with its strange and complex tale.

Namely, we follow Natasha Lyonne’s (Orange Is The New Black, Yoga Hosers) character, Lou, a drug-addled, pill-popping woman living in a remote town in Montana.

Unwittingly, she had become a part of a science experiment when her dealers use her as a science experiment with a new drug that they are pushing.

The side effects of which, induce pregnancy in women.

The question is, without the ‘usual’ method of insemination, who are what is growing inside her?

Lyonne has her character down pat and infuses some of the type of roles that she has become known for struggling with drug dependency.

She is ably supported by some notable female actors though in the under-used Chloe Sevigny (potentially just ringing this one in) as Lou’s friend, Sadie, and the welcome sight of Meg Tilly on the big screen as a quirky, eccentric stranger with more than a few secrets of her own.

Ultimately, it’s a strange concoction though, which some critics have described as muddled and confusing, and with no sense of direction.

But I for one, for one found it refreshing, despite the feeling of swimming upstream in treacle.

There’s enough intrigue to keep you within the story as Lou’s plight and body transformation elevates into the bizarre and grotesque.

This is only Danny Perez’s second feature, (which he wrote and directed) and if he were able to harness his voice whilst maintaining that raw energy throughout, he could very well be a director to keep an eye on in the future.

  • Paul Farrell

Full Moon Sessions: Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Crazed lycanthropes. Check.

A Wiccan cult lead by a vivacious vamp. Check.

A random dwarf. Err…Check.

And Christopher Lee donning some awesome shades whilst blending into a night club scene. Hell yes.

url

French born, Australian film director, Philippe Mora takes the original movie, based on the Gary Brandner novels, takes it by the scruff of the mane and literally shakes the living shit out of it, so that it’s hardly recognisable anymore.

There is a notion that sequels are made to improve upon or enhance a franchise, but here, Mora takes the essence of the original and adds his unique flavour to the mix.

With Sybil Danning serving as his muse by playing the enchantress, Stirba, Howling 2 is a feast on the eyes and plays with your senses.

It’s an acquired taste that has gained a cult following as a result.

And would mark a strange and interesting direction that would prove to not be the last of the franchise, nor the last time that Mora would return to the director’s chair, as he would steer the follow up, Howling III: The Marsupials.

Check out more in the Full Moon Sessions podcast below to get the point of view from The Surgeons.

  • “Howling Mad Moon” MacGuire

Train To Busan (2016)

Tags

, , ,

CRITICS AND AUDIENCES have been praising this film for sometime now.

And I may be a little late to the scene, but I finally managed to board the Train To Busan recently to see what all the fuss was about.

And boy did it live up to my expectations.

Not only was it enjoyable and action-packed, it also left you feeling satisfied as a result.

This film will stand the test of time and become a modern classic and should be on every horror fans must watch list.

Here’s 5 Killer reasons why…

  1. Plenty of heart

    The first two points are all about character development.

    It’s the core to any good storyline. Make the people care about the characters by building up the relationships they have with each other and in doing so cement our relationship with said character before ripping out our hearts when they inevitably die.

  2. A lot of soul

    Continuing on the character theme, it’s also important to establish flaws in the key characters in which they will be punished for accordingly – death by zombie horde, or overcome and redeem themselves but sub sequentially meet their demise anyway, because  in horror, only the pure of heart and soul will survive.
  3. Stamina to stay the distance

    The perfect recipe for any decent horror is to establish the rhythm and build up the tension to the nth degree by the time you reach the climax.

    This is when of the key strengths in Train To Busan.

    Most horror films can find themselves derailed by the halfway point, but we’re kept well on track, thanks to the brilliant pace depicted by director Yeon Sang-ho and his crew.

  4. Fucking sick zombies

    When dealing with the big ‘Z’, you’re generally dealing with the archaic shuffling zombies from George Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead‘ or the kick-ass-quick in ‘28 Days Later‘.

    And although Train To Busan does lean more towards the latter, it does add another element to the mix – Mass.

    When these zombies strike, they come as a group and and hunt down their prey with viscous abundance.

  5. Killer instinct

    And finally, to top it off.

    If you’re gonna have a cracking zombie flick, you’ve got to deliver the gore and kills with as much relish and glee as possible to salivate the hungry horde.

    And in this instance I’m referring to the audience.

    It’s not just the methods of the kills that count here, but the brutal reality of it all as our heroes fight blood tooth and nail in the name of survival.

    It raises questions about how we would face such a dire situation, stares humanity in the face and shows us for the savage creatures that we are.

 

  • Paul Farrell