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Friday, September 5, 2008

The horror of horror!!

**Current track, Gorlliaz - Sound Check** It's my first listening of this track, so as of yet, I cannot pass any judgement on it. =/

Picking up on Nathens' post on horror films:

I am in the main, appalled by modern horror films. The endless blood-letting, the mindless characters, unimaginative stories, the unrealistic situations all contribute to me avoiding them at all costs... accept one.

The film in question is called 'Southern Comfort' and is easily one of the best films I have ever seen. The film revolves around a group of National Guard soldiers on exercises in the swamps of Louisiana. They are armed with the standard M16A1 rifles, backed up with a squad machine gun (sorry, I don't know my MG's - looks like a browning though) all loaded with blank rounds.

They set off into the swamp, following a route on the map, but come across a river that has changed course. They 'borrow' some of the natives' boats to cross the river, and leave a note. However, half way across the river, the owners of the boats come back, and start shouting at them in French. Trouble is, no one speaks French, and as a joke, MG man fires off a burst of blank rounds at the natives. The natives panic, and fire back with rifles, killing the Captain of the men.

So begins a game of cat & mouse with the locals, fighting a war that sees the men hounded and eventually killed off.

What makes this film so much better than more recent films, is that the characters act like the characters they would play in real life - the brave sergeant trying to hold the squad together as one unit, yet failing to the stronger & louder voiced men; the weapons acting as the real life weapons would - ie there are no super human efforts were a man in a bandana firing wildly from the hip is able to shoot hundreds of enemies with one 30 round clip.

The film even has a critical, political undertone - ie Vietnam - now name me one modern horror film that seeks to do that!!

Anyway, enough on the art, that is the film Southern Comfort.

Another point I have on modern horror movies is that they are desensitizing many people to violence. See the often brutal and common beatings that result from a Saturday night drinking in the town - and it’s not just young men - its women as well. Over here they call it 'Ladette culture'. Personally, I see it as a new equality between the sexes.

But I digress - the point is, is that a society that is desensitized to violence is a bad society indeed - and here’s the next clich├ęd sentence: someone think of the children!!

What kind of example is it setting to them!?

In conclusion: treating humans as mere objects, for cutting up, for sex, or for your own monetary gain is wrong, and the morality of this should, and in my opinion, needs to be questioned in our 'modern' society.

((By the way - notice that the characters in Southern Comfort are not treated as objects - they are treated like ordinary people put into extraordinary situations, though their vices, and also though their virtues, they got into this situation)

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