Movie Reviews

From The Uppity Negro Network, Living In Liminality, The Typewriter Series Presents: “Horror Movie Husbands”

typewriter and coffeeI’m doing a series, just about three or four, might be five, can’t remember, blog posts that I had actually typewritten on a Royal Typewriter Futura.  These are my thoughts during that fateful period this past summer while I was on my internship and was without my laptop for about three FULL weeks.  I had to endure crappy cable that only went up to channel 30 and essentially no internet for that period of time.  Here are my my thoughts from that time period. JLL

Anyone who actually pays attention to me and my little quirks would know that I like horror movies—well good horror movies.  For instance, at this point in the game, I’m only going to see the “Saw” movie series out of an October tradition, not at all because they are good movies.  Seriously, I was starting to laugh through Saw VI.  And as I got older the whole teen slasher movie like the “Scream” trilogy or even the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was starting to wear on me.  Even though I was still making sure I rented “Urban Legends” with Loretta Devine as the security guard fashioning herself after Foxy Brown and with Anthony Anderson and Joseph Lawrence, formely Joey “Whoa!” Lawrence of NBC’s “Blossom” fame.

No I like a good horror movie like Stephen King’s “1408” or even the jumpy “Cloverfield.”  Or even much like “Needful Things,” or “Misery” and to get away from my clear Stephen King affinity before I name a whole bunch of his movies, I rather enjoyed “The Ring” series and the first “Grudge”

“Well, Uppity, those movies are stupid!” you may say.  “No self-respecting movie buff would ever appreciate those!”

This is how I see it, the mark of a decent, and I stress decent, horror movie is one that introduces a novel idea.  All of those did that.  “1408” was most certainly a new idea and I’ve heard mixed reviews about it, and “Cloverfield” just took a gamble by making a whole movie from a handheld camera perspective and it would either sink or float also.  But see movies like “The Hills Have Eyes” or even “The Descent” (as scared as I really was watching that movie) they all were more or less predictable and generally that alone kills some of the movie for me.  I may jump or get scared as I did with all of the “Final Destination” series, but it would never rank to me as a good movie.

However, what always gets an audience is a good child killer movie.  The one’s where the child-like innocence is played against some unspeakable horror.  I mean all of us remember just how utterly creeped out we were watching little Gage back from the dead as a walking and talking killer three year old in Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” going after America’s favorite Munster.  Or even watching homegirl in “The Exorcist” and most certainly watching “The Omen” and even the remake.  Of course, Stephen King took to the next level and scared us shitless with a whole bunch of deranged and possessed children with “Children of the Corn.”

In the vain of “The Omen” and this little known movie simply entitled “Joshua” the child seems to have this Stewie from “Family Guy” inane hatred for the mother—the child seems to have it out for the mother and the mother knows it, enter stage left, the horror movie husband.

Orphan movie posterCentral for this blog is the movie “Orphan.”

I’m sure it has been out for at least three weeks by the time this posts drops and if you haven’t seen it and plan on seeing it, well, SPOILER ALERT.

I had seen trailers for this movie “Orphan” a ways out before it dropped at the movie theatre as early as the spring and they had done a good job of hyping it up for me, so I figured I might as well go see it even thought I knew none of the actors.  The movie, more or less, is decent enough writing—I’ve watched much worse.  I think one of the appreciable aspects of the movie was that if it had not been advertised as a horror/slasher movie, no one would know until halfway the movie when the final adoption papers of little Esther are processed that “this child is just not right.”  Perhaps one could tell from her Little Bo’ Peep outfit, but that just went with the general nature of the movie.  Of course this movie has the typical pitfalls of adult stupidity and ineptitude.  You the kind where adults just for some reason don’t ever have the intelligence to connect the dots or even have the actual brute strength to overpower the little one.  But this movie is totally centered on the hapless, aloof, blind and complete boob of a husband.

To use “The Omen,” “Joshua” and now “Orphan” even with different sexes, the child is able to capitalize on the undying and blind affection from the father and the growing hatred that the mother’s develop for the child.  So I sat in the movie theatre tonight, as dozens of people watched the screen in disbelief at the husband’s inability to connect the dots, protect even his own biological children and actually fall for this adopted she-devil.  Of course by the end of the movie as little Esther actually came for the husband in the evening gown, a good movie goer would have figured out the plot, but even for me and most of the young crowd we were left going WTF?  But by this time, the wife had hauled off and slapped the mess out of Esther in the hospital after the attempted murder of the couple’s oldest adopted son, and the husband had threatened to leave the wife.  So I said to myself, “Self, I don’t ever want to get into a situation like this!” Reason being was that this premise was based in reality—no supernatural occurrences took place in this movie.

Should I be shocked that CCH Pounder’s character, the black nun, was the first casualty of the movie?  No, I expect the coloreds to go first, it’s just a running joke with everyone so why change it now.  Or should I be concerned that this movie was still about an evil child, symbolic of some sort of evil?  No, I knew that even before I paid for my ticket.  For me, I just was stunned at how clueless the father was portrayed.

Now it was established that the mother had been battling severe depression following a stillborn birth that resulted in a stint with alcoholism that took her to a treatment center for some time.  During this time her youngest daughter became deaf after falling in a frozen pond behind the house due to the mother’s neglect.  So the movie was taking place in her recovery days, and my oh my, what a recovery it was.  So the slip-ups and the weird occurrences the mother was able to pinpoint as little Esther, but even the therapist and the father seemed completely clueless—even after a proposed psychological problem was discovered from Esther’s past.  Nonetheless, the father was painted as one who seemed to have no connection to the well-being of his biological children—and I find that hard to believe.  If he had stayed with his wife for that long, and through the stillborn death, the depression, the alcoholism.  It was apparent that the two had something going for them, and to throw it away like he did elicited the worst responses from the audience—and we did have a live audience that night.

It was more evident that the orphan had clearly changed the behavior of the two other kids in a drastic and scary manner, but the father was unable to tell the difference, or refused to see the difference.  Moreover, this movie yet again proved to be the dangerously subjective nature of psychology.  The father and the therapist were in collusion with each other against what the mother was saying—everything she said was digging her deeper into a hole, just like Angelina Jolie’s character in “Changeling.” Those two were focusing on the wife and her alcohol problems while little Esther was positioning herself to be the next wife.

Like I said, I pray to God that my love for my wife runs so deep that if a situation like this were to even remotely occur that I would undoubtedly and without reservation choose my wife over anything else.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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One thought on “From The Uppity Negro Network, Living In Liminality, The Typewriter Series Presents: “Horror Movie Husbands”

  1. I stay far away from movies like “Orphan.” Because I admit it–they disturb the hell out of me. There is something about the idea of an evil child that rattles me to my core. What mainly does it is not so much the evil child him/herself, but the fact that the adults who deeply loved them are forced to face a terrifying truth. I have this deep, almost primal fear of BETRAYAL, and betrayal is what those movies are really all about. The betryal of innocence. The betrayal of trust, the betrayal of unconditional love–triple ouch on that last one.

    “The Good Son” may be an awful movie, but that’s not the reason I feel ill watching it. That ending—-ugh. I can’t take it, I tells ya.
    (Discerning critics would accurately describe me as “easy.” LOL)

    BTW, I love how you ended this. Best to you two and that “deep running” bond.

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