It’s Jan 24th and
is now 3 years old.
By now most of us have seen it once if not many more times and luckily this is a film that gets better with each telling because we start to understand each of the characters more. This is a pretty sizable cast and Dir. Jordan H. Peele gives a good amount of character building to each by twisting up classic tropes in a similar but different way that Cabin in the Woods does.
I want to share a bit about my writing process. When I write about film I watch the films a few times and take notes so that I can see what themes stand out to me. Here on the notes
Let’s jump into the film–
Min 4ish Andre Logan King is being stalked by the guy from Funny Games. jk it’s Caleb Landry Jones
Opening credits roll with the tightly discordant soundtrack.
We see some of “Chris’s” artwork.
In Jordan Peele’s annotated screenplay he mentions Look Who’s Coming to Dinner as inspiration for the film along with Rosemary’s Baby and Stepford Wives. These influences become clear as we are introduced to the characters. Since we know this is horror, not romance, we know something’s strange about meeting this obnoxiously attractive 30ish years old couple at a pertinent new level of their relationship: meeting the parents.
Min 12 ish They run in the deer is where the locations shift from an urban to a rural environment. It’s also the first instance we have of Chris’s traumatic past and at min 15 ish he is fast to answer about the deer’s status as dead.
Min 17 We’re introduced to Rose’s dad and get to know the father-son inheritance in their family’s culture.
Min 18-19. The line “we keep a piece of her in here” is creepier and creepier with each viewing as does the line “I couldn’t bear to let them go” Let who go the people who you kidnapped or dead family members. This fear of loss or losing is rampant throughout the film and I think it speaks to the current generations’ styles of competition and the inability to let go of what needs to be let go of. Anyway i totally want to over-analyze how Chris mirrors Rose’s Dad’s body language,. He’s clearly trying to impress a woman’s father and is willing to let a lot of comments and oddities slide throughout. Hopefully another viewer with expertize in psychoanalytics wants to dig into that nugget.
Min 19-25. Rose’s mom starts finding her angle and once she’s found it she taps her tea verre with her spoon. And before we can think too much about how strangely Georgina has been since we met her in the kitchen none other than Jeremy of Funny Games shows up And we switch to an interior of them sitting at a table. This is where the family seems the most normal. They remind me of the family in Meet the Joneses, criminal but somehow their self-awareness of who each other are and what cruelties they’re capable of brings them together into a genuinely f’ed up family like everyone else’s.
Min 26 Rose’s mom establishes herself as the alpha at this table and is probably one of my new favorite villains now bc she is so blankly cruel.
Min 33 Malpractice. manipulation. and how cool is the human brain. I do want to note that Chris didn’t have to tell her those details and probably shouldn’t have if he felt uncomfortable with the form of therapy.
The sunken place seems to have inspired at least a few researchers work. It makes me think of cognitive dissonance and ptsd combined. as well as those metal boxes African Americans were put into and left to suffer.
Min 42ish The Party. I feel like this ‘party seeking the next best in cosmetic surgery’ (or cosmetic psychology) isn’t reaching their potential. some of the comments have me wonder how old and who are in the present bodies. It’s like vampirism mixed with reincarnation. This party also reminds me of…is it the film The Island where they have clones to harvest organs from?
Min 49. What I adore about Chris & Rose’s fake-real relationship is that there are spaces to discuss real-life interracial romances. And these tender moments are even more creepy when we know what Rose is up to and in reality expose relationship issues of manipulation and control
Hr/min 1:24ish The sunken place just reminds me of the internet.
Hr/Min 1:29ish After watching the buildup of the horror we now watch the protagonist overcome all obstacles.
In the end, I think the Sunken Place is like having one’s computer hacked and/or being under surveillance.
Raise pulses peacefully,
p.s. At this stage my notes aren’t super in-depth this time around. This first step helps me figure out where to go next. The next step is to do research by reading articles and books about the film.
p.s.s the whfs drink is:
water “water: solv*nt yourself then”
as well as Nightglow
(not that they need my help drawing a crowd)
made at Cerebral Brewing “GET your head in the [board] game” and wear yer wools n furs n hearing aides cause otherwise there’ll be reverb