Monday, January 17, 2011

What J Blakeson owes to Eli Roth

[Ed. - This short post may give away both twists and the ending of The Disappearance of Alice Creed. You've been warned.]

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a great movie. But I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much 10 years ago.

The first 30 minutes are as hard to watch as anything you'll see in, say, Wolf Creek. But just a few years ago, I could have shrugged my way through them, confident that Alice would, in fact, escape and get to go home eventually.

Not anymore.

I'm not really a big fan of modern horror. There are too many hateful movies out there, movies that detest themselves and their audiences. But by destroying our expectation of a happy ending, Roth and his ilk have added an extra layer of suspense to every new thriller. The fact is, until Creed's credits rolled, I had no idea which of its three characters would live or die. And the ultimately satisfying and thought-provoking ending wouldn't have been a shock at all.

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