|Writer-director Fede Alvarez, who also did the awesome Evil Dead, said Don't Breathe was a response to critics' attacks on Evil Dead: too many easy scares, blood and gore; so, with Don't Breathe, there is no blood, no special effects and no supernatural elements. Right now, before opening weekend, it's rocking Rotten Tomatoes with a fresh score of 87%, which is quite impressive for a $10 million horror film.|
Right now, this is the best image of the house that I can find, so we will start here. First, traditionally, houses symbolize the soul, because a home houses the body the way the body houses the soul, which is why the windows of a house are likened to the "eyes" of a person and the eyes or a person are like the "windows" of the soul. What the three young people find in the house is going to be a reflection of what they find within themselves: that which is ready to kill them, i.e., they are embarking on a path in life that is going to get them killed. Horror films could be sub-titled: Judgement Day, because each character in a horror film really isn't a hero; we identify with them, because they have done something we have done ourselves--like wish we had some of Bill Gates' money to pay off our bills, for example--but the character allows us to see, quite graphically, how sin effects our lives, our souls and those around us. In a way, horror films are the notations to the Gospels.
Now, why is the film set in Detroit? The Detroit Free Press review thinks it's overkill and just because of the poverty and rust in the town. I couldn't disagree more. Detroit is the largest city to file for bankruptcy in US history (filed Chapter 9 in 2013); why did Detroit file for bankruptcy? In spite of Detroit being Motor City, it's been run by Democrats for 50 years and it accumulated a debt of $18-20 BILLION DOLLARS; it has only 700,000 people (down from 1.5 million in the 1950s) and is home to liberals such as Michael Moore. When political conservatives see that a film is being filmed in Detroit--like Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice--we know it's a political commentary on the socialism that has strangled the city for decades now; it's my understanding there are plenty of shots of the abandoned city and unlit streets to remind us of what Detroit should be, but isn't, at least, not anymore. The theme of "wealth re-distribution" that is the heart of the film (the old man has all that money sitting in a safe, but I need that money to get away and make a life for myself, so I'm going to take what he obviously has too much of) is the foundation of socialist politics Detroit itself has been running on for decades (unions and Democrats borrowing more money than the city could possibly make and pay back), so keep this in mind as we watch the characters' situations unfold and the path they take to remedy that situation.
They have huge fan followings, and yet, their fans are the very ones so quick to criticize every single detail of the horror film they waited for so long to see; so, what gives? The film makers (and this applies to basically any artist in any medium) depend upon an unspoken arrangement with the audience, their willing suspension of disbelief, in exchange for the enjoyment of the story and experience the artist(s) is about to provide. In other words, so that I can get to enjoy The Hobbit, I am going to agree with JRR Tolkien and Peter Jackson that I won't criticize the impossibility of Hobbits existing; I won't question wizards and their powers, or Orcs riding on the backs of wolves, I will, however, quiet my mind and enjoy the story they want to tell me; I get the experience of The Hobbit, while the artists get the joy of crafting the tale for my enjoyment.
That's an exchange.
Horror fans don't buy into it.
Decoding the Decoding: Scream). By mocking every horror film produced, critics and fans mock the lessons they inherently contain and, thereby, the very purpose of horror films.
It's not the compulsion to look at the car accident on the road as we drive by, as some have suggested: we aren't obsessed with the gross and cruel, rather, because horror films make our own deepest, most private and intimate self the subject of their narratives, we have to watch them because we have to learn about ourselves, we have to figure out who we are, and what the consequences are of being who we are. In other words, the very fact that we are human draws us to horror films because "being human" is the subject of every horror film; sure, humans populate other genres, like comedy and drama, and we do learn about the "human condition" in other genres, however, the situation--the conflict determining other genres--are central to those stories, whereas being a human being is central to a horror film. For example,....
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