Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jenifer


I loved the newest episode of Masters of Horror completely. It is my favorite of the series so far and that took some effort after how strongly I felt about Stuart Gordon's Dreams in the Witch House.

This was Jenifer by Dario Argento. The episode was from a teleplay by actor Steven Weber, adapted from the short comic story Jenifer by Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson, originally published in Creepy magazine. It's a relentlessly disturbing story of a man who takes in the victim of a brutal attack and falls under her spell...

The directing, the look, the pace, the audaciousness... these were all expected elements of an Argento film. The realistic writing and solid, thoughtful acting was somewhat of a surprise. In fact, I now want to see Steven Weber do more writing.

As usual, Tim Lucas says what I would say better than I can, check out Love Means Never Having to Say "You Ate WHAT?".

I will add this, however. There is a rather ridiculous argument going on regarding the ending.

A number of people have complained about the "surprise" twist and how obvious it is. This is exactly as sensible as complaining about how predictable the "surprise" ending of Macbeth is.

Jones, Weber and Argento have set up a story that's designed to repeat. It's a steamroller moving toward its ending. It sets up the question, "What would lead a person to such madness?", and then it answers it. It's not "predictable", it's inevitable. Our tastes and expectations for thriller storytelling have become increasingly and sadly banal.

I'm sick and goddamn tired of twists. They are becoming the ruin of thriller storytelling at this point... and I say this as a giallo fan!!! But more than that I'm sick of the expectation of a twist. Honestly, I think this is something far more interesting.

But mostly, find that episode and check it out. It's amazing.

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