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Why Darren Aronofsky’s mother! Scared the Hell Out of Me

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Beware. Just to get it out of the way, the following article will go into MAJOR SPOILERS for Darren Aronofsky’s mother!

If you haven’t seen the film, this isn’t a review. This is more of a (slightly) in-depth analysis of the new movie (wait, don’t run off just yet) starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. And it features a whole lot of truth-telling on my part.

So let’s get to it.

To begin, I’m not an easy guy to frighten. And truth be told mother! didn’t really scare me. At least not to a crazy degree. What the movie did do, however, was made me all but have a full-blown anxiety attack.

In this post, I’m going to let you guys into a few small dark secrets of mine. They’re not major issues (thank God) but I do have a tendency to be a bit neurotic about certain things. Paranoias and whatnot.

First, I’m kind of a shut-in. Case in point, I was invited to a party this weekend. Nope. I’d rather stay in and avoid larger groups of people. I was also asked to go see Star Wars: The Last Jedi (three times) and turned down the offers. One of my buddies even said he would pay for my ticket. But still, I said no.

It seems as if I tread a very fine line of agoraphobia (aka the fear of large groups of people). And with all due respect to those who do suffer from this condition, I think quite a few people out there have more than mild symptoms of the issue.

And those people will be terrified of mother!

The movie started off simple enough, with me having a general good time wondering if the film was going to fall on the love it or hate side of the spectrum for me. Simple stuff.

But it was around the time that Michelle Pfeiffer showed up that my anxiety started to creep up. Small bouts here and there. Nothing major. In fact, you could have called the anxious feeling I was experiencing a mere symptom of just hating her character so much. Hate is a strong word. A better way to put it might simply be “f*ck that snobby bitch.”

Anyhow, I was doing okay, and my social anxieties were only slightly piqued by this point. But then the brothers showed up. You know the two. The one guy from Ex Machina and (evidently) his real-life brother – both who are the sons of Brendan Gleeson of Mr. Mercedes and Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter.

Now I’m not going to go into the allegorical aspects of the film, such as how these brothers were Cain and Abel from, you know, the Bible. That’s not what scared, or interested me.

As we all know – because all of us here have seen the film – when the sons show up into the mix things quickly go from bad to worse. Voice are raised (which is all it takes for my fight or flight response to kick in), and then, sure enough, seemingly random brutal violence erupts.

My main reaction to the film after this point was “You see what happens?!” I felt like John Goodman in The Big Lebowski for most of the running time after that sequence endless shouting at the screen, “You see what happens, Larry?! Do you SEE what happens, Larry?!”

This is why I get freaked out when people ask me to throw a party at my house. Nope. Why not? For years previous to this weekend I’d have a hard time explaining my anxiety. Now I have mother! to point to. “Want to have a party?” Nope. “Why not?” Watch mother!.

I’m not saying that I have a conscious fear that if I throw a party at my house the full history of the world is going to play out in uber pretentious fashion. Not at all. What I am afraid of subconsciously is the “What if?” of the situation.

What if they riot? What if they all turn against me?

Or maybe it was the control freak in me. The slightly OCD side. Case in point, when the baby was killed I didn’t think, “Oh, that’s horrible a baby got killed.” No, I didn’t think that. I’ve seen A Serbian Film. I can take a broken baby neck.

What freaked me out about that scene though was just wanting to strangle Javier Bardem right along with Mother as all I could think was “I knew it! I knew this would happen! I can’t have a baby without people wanting to hold it and not be gentle enough with it! Arrgh!”

Again, this article is me letting you guys into some of my crazier tendencies.

What made it all so bad was that all of the intruders were not only welcomed into the house, they were constantly pardoned by the man of the house over and over again until it was too late. Even worse still is that the horde didn’t enter the house for the simply evil reason of tearing it down, beating and/or killing Jennifer Lawrence, or killing and eating her baby.

No, this horde was welcomed into the house, and it was just their blatant disrespect of all things belonging to other people (that they all feel they should own a piece of as well) that turned the masses into the film’s villainous looters.

Movies that feature evil people breaking into a home don’t scare me too bad. Just shoot the sons of bitches, right? But mother! was more “realistic” in people’s selfish intentions, and thus more horrifying. People will tear you apart in large groups just because they are selfish and faceless. The movie just ups the metaphor to panic-inducing degrees.

I swear, I like people. Just not large groups of them. In my house.

The film reminded me a lot of the feeling of pure dread and paranoia I had while watching George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead for the first time. But the panic Darren Aronofsky’s mother! inspired was a little bit worse and a little bit better than NOTLD.

I’ll explain: It was worse because the people flooding this house were all sentient beings with real agendas, such as hooking up wherever they could, trying to hit on me and my girlfriends, stealing shite or going carelessly into areas of my home (my world) that I don’t want people in. Strangers or not.

What made it a lesser Night of the Living Dead was the pretentious, arty aspects. We get it, this is about mother nature and humans ruining her paradise.

The movie should have taken a step back from that angle and made it a little less clear-cut. When my dumbass friend (we’ll call him Brian) can watch the film and say it was about the rape of mother nature, Aronofsky should know that he missed his mark.

But had the film been dialed back a bit (a lot) and played as a simple, “Why did all of those people do that to her house?” It would have preserved the anxiety of the flick.

Now all of that said, is mother! a good movie?

Meh.

I enjoyed it on multiple levels from the technical proficiencies that are a given with an Aronofsky film, to the performances which are more than solid all around. But I cannot think of a person on this Earth I could recommend the film to. Not one.

But that said, there isn’t one person on Earth I’d be surprised to hear loved it and/or were terrified by it. The movie plays with fears and paranoas most people don’t talk about on the surface. So you never know who this movie might hit like a battering ram.

Yes, many people will watch mother! and be more than a little confused and more than a lot pissed off. But those out there that mother hits, it will hit them hard. For better or worse.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go board up my windows.

***

What did you think of Darren Aronofsky’s mother!? Let us know below!

The film is written & directed by Darren Aronofsky and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harris.

BUY IT HERE!

Synopsis:

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion, and sacrifice.

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We Need to Stop Our Alarming Obsession With Child Actors

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On Sunday, January 21, Buzzfeed tweeted an article with the byline “Millie Bobby Brown just Insta-confirmed her relationship with Jacob Sartorius and I have butterflies”. Quite quickly, the tweet was met with a barrage of comments, ranging from mild tuts that it was in poor taste to extreme condemnations of pedophilia and sexualization of a minor (Brown is 13-years-old as of this post). I personally weighed in on the matter.

Earlier that day, CNN ran a video and story where actress/director/producer Natalie Portman opened up about her own experiences being a young girl in Hollywood. Portman’s breakout role was at 12-years-old in The Professional, a movie that celebrated her phenomenal acting abilities. Per CNN, she received her first fan letter a year later, after the film had come out. In it was a rape fantasy. Her local radio show began counting down the time until her 18th birthday, when she would be of legal age. Mind you, she was 13 when all of this was happening, the same age as Millie Bobby Brown.

The parallels between these two stories should immediately be understood and seen. The sexualization and fanatical obsession with children, much less celebrities, is a plague that can only cause damage and harm to those who are on the receiving end. It is time that we recognize that this practice needs to stop. It is time that we all held ourselves accountable.

A cursory search of Browns’ name on Buzzfeed will bring up at least 50 separate articles, on top of the one previously mentioned. These include what was said between “Stranger Things” co-star Finn Wolfhard and herself before their kiss in the second season. There’s a strange obsession with Brown’s instagram account and the conversations between her and other celebrities. There’s even one that states Brown looks like a young Natalie Portman. The irony here is undeniable and it seems very difficult to say that the site doesn’t have an obsession with the young actress.

Hollywood is under a great deal of pressure, rightfully so, from the #MeToo movement as well as Corey Feldman’s pursuit of revealing the truth about widespread pedophilia in that world (watch as he’s shut down by Barbara Walters). His claims have been echoed by Elijah Wood, although he himself states he did not suffer at the hands of any abusers.

Eliza Dushku’s alleged abuser Joel Kramer was recently let go from his agency twenty years after supposed events took place. When those who wonder why the actress didn’t come forward sooner, they overlook the fact that she went to authorities at that time. She details everything in an emotional post on her Facebook page.

The issue, however, does not just lie within those who create in Hollywood. It is exacerbated and pushed on by those who report on Hollywood’s actions and those that read it, lapping up the non-news proclamations with unabashed glee, not recognizing that they are feeding the same system that many are fighting against. Then, even more worrying, is that these “fans” feel entitled to these children, as though they are objects for their pleasure at any time, puppets that need to dance when beckoned.

Sophie Turner weighed in with her thoughts on the matter:


Wolfhard himself has asked that the infatuation and near assault of him and his co-workers come to an end:


And yet even on that particular tweet, Wolfhard’s fans responded with, “Ma babe trust no body“, “I love the right person bixo ♡“, “Love you finn“, and more. “Fans” are declaring their love for a 14-year-old boy that they’ve never met, a person that they’ve only really seen playing someone other than himself.

A culture has been established and reinforced that celebrities are somehow open for our sycophantic obsessions. This needs to stop. We need only to remember our own experiences as children so that we can apply them to these kids today. As Kevin Brown so wonderfully put it on Twitter:

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 23, 2018

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After a few weeks of smaller lists, this week should be a welcome breath of fresh air, with 12 pretty solid releases.  There are mainly recent films this week, but there are a couple of classics thrown in the mix as well.

Probably our top release of the week, Jigsaw will be hitting shelves on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.  I found myself wondering recently if they will still be making films from this franchise when my son (who is a toddler now) is able to get into R-rated movies.

Up next is The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.  If you didn’t get your fill of Christmas last year, you can check out this clip for one last holiday hoorah.

In terms of classics, Dario Argento’s Opera will be heading our way as a Blu-ray release from Scorpion Releasing.  Additionally, you can check out Robert Englund in 1992’s Dance Macabre, brought to us as part of the Scream Factory collection.  Lastly, if you’re a Linda Blair fan, 1987’s Grotesque will be available on DVD this week as well.

I also have to give a nod to Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.  I’m not going to say it’s the best zombie movie ever created, but a few years back I happened upon a used DVD copy at a cool book store/café in New Haven, CT.  I didn’t go into it expecting anything miraculous, but for a very dated living dead movie it was worth the three dollars it cost me.

Keep checking back each week.  We’re going to be seeing an uptick in the quantity of release listings over the next month at least so you won’t want to miss a thing.  Pleasant viewing.



MOVIES

Dance Macabre (1992)

Starring:

Robert Englund

Synopsis:

A dance instructor brings his dance troupe to Russia for training. What his dancers don’t know, however, is that he has a dual personality–and his hidden personality is a serial killer.

BUY IT NOW!


Devil’s Well, The (2017)

Starring:

Bryan Manley Davis, Chris Viemeister, David Alexander, Kristen Seavey, Anne-Marie Mueschke

Synopsis:

Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband into the Devil’s Well, an underground location reported to be a gateway straight into hell, and the site of ongoing strange phenomenon. A year after her disappearance, a group of investigators go back to uncover the truth about Karla, and are faced with evil forces greater than they ever imagined.

BUY IT NOW!


Grotesque (1987)

Starring:

Linda Blair, Tab Hunter, Donna Wilkes

Synopsis:

A gang of crazed punks breaks into a typical American family’s vacation home in the mountains and slaughters the entire family, except for one daughter who gets away in nothing but her pajamas. As the gang pursues the girl through the outside elements, they slowly realize that a murderous creature is chasing them all!

BUY IT NOW!


Hot Tub Party Massacre (2016)

Starring:

Chrissy Cooke

Synopsis:

The sisters of the Delta Omega sorority won a free weekend at a luxurious hotel & spa. They planned on having a fun and steamy weekend. However, things go from steamy to bloody when an escaped serial killer checks in to the hotel and crashes their party. The heat will be on at the Hot Tub Party Massacre!!!

BUY IT NOW!


Jigsaw (2017) (Blu-ray + 4K)

Starring:

Hannah Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Tobin Bell, Brittany Allen

Synopsis:

Bodies continue to turn up when the notorious Jigsaw killer returns for the eighth installment of one of the most successful horror franchises in history!

In the latest terrifying installment of the legendary SAW series, law enforcement finds itself chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade, embroiled in a diabolical new game that’s only just begun. Has John Kramer, the infamous Jigsaw Killer, returned from the dead to commit a series of murders and remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a different killer with designs of their own?

BUY IT NOW!


Killing of a Sacred Deer, The (2017)

Starring:

Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone

Synopsis:

Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.

BUY IT NOW!


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

Starring:

Cristina Galbo, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy

Synopsis:

A young couple in love is travelling along the English countryside. While they plan their next stop, a man who has been dead for several days attacks, to be followed shortly thereafter by a full-scale zombie invasion which could very well be a result of the agriculturist’s distribution of ultrasonic radiation. In the end, a cop figures out the countless murders are not the work of the young couple, but the living dead.

BUY IT NOW!


Lost Tree, The (2017)

Starring:

Thomas Ian Nicholas, Michael Madsen, Lacey Chabert, Scott Grimes, Clare Kramer

Synopsis:

The Lost Tree is centered around Noah (Nicholas), who is guilt-ridden for the death of his wife. He travels to an isolated cabin in search of peace and isolation. But he soon learns of the dangerous surroundings of the area.

BUY IT NOW!


Opera (1987)

Starring:

Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini, William McNamara, Antonella Vitale

Synopsis:

When young opera singer Betty takes over the leading role in an avant-garde presentation of Verdi’s Macbeth, she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who repeatedly forces her to watch the brutal murders of her friends. Will her recurring childhood nightmare hold the key to the identity of this psychopath, or does an even more horrific evil lay waiting in the wings? Legendary horror maestro Dario Argento delivers a savagely stunning thriller featuring some of the most shocking sequences of his entire career.

BUY IT NOW!


Planet Dead (2017)

Starring:

Charles Adames, Joe Debartolo, Raven Oscar Flores, Larry Greene, Emilie Jolie

Synopsis:

The world falls into chaos after a rogue scientist unleashes a virus that turns the living and the dead into flesh eating monsters. A Special Forces Team is sent into a growing danger zone to recover the cure from the scientist, but as they enter the hot zone they must seek refuge in a nearby nightclub with a few civilians as they wait for the rescue chopper to arrive. Armed with limited ammo they must battle the ever growing number of once human monsters. Mankind will pay for the nastiness of it’s inhabitance.

BUY IT NOW!


Punk Fu Zombie (2017)

Starring:

Stephane Messier, Xavier Dumontier, Tommy Gaudet, Caroline Danserau-Loiselle, Jonathan Simon

Synopsis:

In 2028 a zombie invasion, coupled with a thermonuclear war, plunges the world into a new darkness. Now, in 2048, the so called leader of the original movement has a new nemesis: his son Zack. Trained in kung-fu since his childhood by his robot friend, nothing could prepare the young Zack for the political adventure waiting for him, filled with trials, love, politics and ultra-violence.

BUY IT NOW!


Red Krokodil (2012) (Director’s Cut)

Starring:

Brock Madson, Valerio Cassa, Viktor Karam

Synopsis:

Red Krokodil is the story of a man (Brock Madon) addicted to mind numbing drug, Krokodil. He suddenly finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored in his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations. The breakup of the body that this drug causes, is sever in it’s graphic and yet, slow destruction while he is slowly falling into madness as his addictions to the drug, runs out of control. This movie deals with many themes, from the environment to the use of drugs, but the story is just an excuse that director Domiziano Cristopharo uses to focus on a psychological condition that brings a total detachment from oneself and from the surrounding world. A dark trip that shows no way out.

BUY IT NOW!

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Rapid Eye Movement Trailer Forces You To Stay Awake

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I would really love to go on vacation to New York City, so I’m damn jealous of the cast and crew of the upcoming movie Rapid Eye Movement, which was filmed almost exclusively in Times Square. In the film, a radio DJ is forced to stay awake for over eleven days after being threatened by a deranged caller, which begins to have serious effects on both his physical and mental well-being.

Rapid Eye Movement is directed by Peter Bishai and stars Francois Arnaud, Reiko Aylesworth, Chloe Brooks, Godfrey, Jamie Jackson, David Rhodes, Stelio Savante and Danny Ramirez. We don’t yet know of a release date, although we are happy to share the trailer along with two stills below.

Rapid Eye Movement Official Synopsis
In the heart of Times Square, radio DJ Rick Weider is driven to the edge of insanity as he tries to break the 11-day world record for staying awake. The stakes rise considerably when a deranged caller, who wants Rick to raise $5 million for charity, threatens to kill him unless he succeeds. With his life on the line, Rick unravels physically, emotionally and mentally, forced to confront his own demons while trying to outplay his seemingly powerful and unbeatable enemy.

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