Posts Tagged ‘pity’
Director: Steven Quale
Screenwriter: Eric Heisserer
Length: 1h 32m
Synopsis: Sam (D’Agosto) is an office worker who in his free time is trying to pursue his passion for the culinary arts and win back his ex-girlfriend Molly (Bell), who is also an office coworker. The two join some fellow coworkers and their slimy boss Dennis (Koechner) on a bus to an office retreat, but while in route they narrowly survive a terrible bridge collapse that, were it not for Sam’s advisement to abruptly leave, would have caused their untimely and gruesome demises. The days following this divine intervention, however, prove to be no less perilous. One by one each survivor meets a grisly, macabre fate, leading the remaining few to assume that Death has intentions of correcting his oversights at any given moment.
In order for a horror film to be affecting it must accomplish an array of feats that manipulate its audience in a way that steers it toward a desired end, which is usually one of disenfranchisement, disgust, dismay, or paranoia. But one key element to effective horror that goes largely unmentioned is the importance of pity. When a horror film does not take seriously this pivotal aspect, or neglects it altogether, what usually results is a campy flick that allows, if not promotes an audience to react with disinterest or laughter instead of shock, terror, or other sorts of psychological distress. In order to properly convey the importance of a scary movie’s ability to make an audience pity we must first examine precisely what pity is and how it works to assist a movie’s efforts to jar its viewers. From doing this we can hopefully discover the major faults of modern American horror, and see what needs to be done to revive it.