1/26/17

Under The Shadow - On Netflix Now

I watched Under The Shadow almost two weeks ago. There hasn't been a day since my viewing that I haven't thought about it. It's a film about the specter of war and fascism. So aside from the fact that it's thoughtfully crafted and well-performed, it's also eerily relevant. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I fully admit I'm a strange mix of snob and cult fan when it comes to horror. Some of my favorite horror films in recent years have been The Babadook and It Follows. I'm really looking forward to The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Which I believe was done by the same director who did the captivating and beautiful Trollhunter.

I'm a huge fan of the Evil Dead franchise, yet after the first season of Ash vs. The Evil Dead, I couldn't watch anymore. Which really bums me out because I pretty much follow Bruce Campbell wherever he may go.

I've always been strangely sensitive to very specific content. Post-apocalyptic stuff, in particular, stays with me in a negative way. (a la nightmare fuel)

I can't stomach slasher films or haunted houses because I can't abide fake violence when it echoes actual violence happening in the world. It's why I hated the church scene in the comic adaptation of Kingsman. It's not a fun catharsis for me to see women and black men getting mowed down in unspeakable ways.

Yet the over-the-top ending that saw villains' heads exploding in tiny little rainbow clouds? Didn't bother me in the least. Thought it was a sheer delight.

The ultraviolence of a Tarantino movie seems to exist in an alternate universe. A world where Samurai swords can be taken on planes like carry-ons. It doesn't stay with me because it's not realistic. I don't believe it's happening and I don't have to worry about 88 samurai being killed by a woman out for revenge.

Horror is specifically designed to evoke and antagonize. And an antagonized brain won't always behave in a predictable way. As Wes Craven said, "Horror films don't create fear. They release it." It's been a long time since we've had such a variety of specific, possible fears from which to choose.

Usually, it's a single threat that shows up as a theme. In the past, it's been communism and the cold war. The 80's saw a fear of what affluence might bring along with it.

You get the idea.

In that tradition, Under The Shadow presents a familiar terror. Something strangely realistic, which I realize is an odd anecdote about a horror film involving...well, I won't spoil it in case you haven't seen it. It spends as much time on the resentment oppression brings as it does on supernatural forces. Like Poltergeist, Under The Shadow wants to remind you that your home might not offer inherent solace.

Not when "they" are coming for you.

Watch the trailer below, then head to Netflix for an incredible film.

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