Saturday, May 29, 2021

film notes: revenge porn for the bloodthirsty

If you're anything like me, you like your revenge flicks either cutting and devastating or bloodthirsty and violent.  I wasn't sure what to expect with PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, of only because I avoided spoilers and discussions of the ending, which all I knew was that many had either loved or hated it.  And it may just be I was feeling extra bloodlusty, but I felt a little robbed when the turn at the end the big comeuppance. It turned out to be clever, but not at all what I wanted in that moment, which made it far less satisfying.  

A few weeks ago, I watched another movie, THINGS HEARD AND SEEN that was brilliant in it's concept and casting, but screwed the pooch on how the retribution for evil and bad men went down.  (in this case, if you combined the bear suit boyfriend in Midsommar and Jack Torrance, you'd be on the nose, though both were even more redeemable.) I think what made them less satisfying was that the consequences were wholly biblical or law related, which didn't quite scratch the itch.  The more deplorable the man, the more I want blood and violence.  Think HARD CANDY.  Think AMERICAN MARY. Think THE PERFECTION.  I also want my heroine, my final girl to survive, so when she dies, I feel especially betrrayed in so many ways, particularly if it's at the hands of the villain (or villains.) 

I was thinking of another movie I recently watched SWALLOW., which I was expecting, given the circumstances to have a bad ending, but actually was very satisfying and felt (though the man she was escaping was not as bad as many of the above) still felt like justice.  He may have survived, but she both got to survive and do the final fuck-you.  So maybe it's not the bloodiness of things, but the karmic justice. Either way, despite my feelings about the endings, all three are worth a watch for many reasons..visual loveliness, casting and acting, the worlds they create. Also, the fact that the women, whatever their ends, are at the center.   

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