8.20.2009

District 9.



Recently I saw The Collector and District 9. I want to discuss them together because I hated The Collector, loved District 9, and thought both were well done films. So here is my breakdown...

The Collector was a favor to my bf who is a fan of horror and also a writer of the genre. Why I thought I could handle this movie is beyond me, as Last House on the Left left me horrified and sick to my stomach. I used to be a huge fan of horror movies so what was my problem! Well actually, the bf pointed it out to me. There is this new subgenre in horror he dubbed “torture horror” – I don’t recall actual mainstream films like that in the past! Of course there were B-movies of all types, but the big screen stuff was creepy, or bloody, or silly, but not painful to watch. Well both Last House on the Left and The Collector were in this new, unwatchable (to me) subgenre. Watching some or all of a family get tortured? Not my style. I’m all about mental trickery and scare, not watching a family brutalized, one member at a time. So if you can stomach this, The Collector was good. Otherwise, save your money, because you will be like me: fingers in ears and just peeking up every 5 minutes or so. And did I mention what happens to the cat? *shudder*

District 9, on the other hand, has lots of violence but an amazing message. Set in Johannesburg and using the metaphor for apartheid, this film literally reinvented the sci-fi genre for me. I am not a huge fan of sci-fi (with the exception of Lord of the Rings) but District 9 is like an improvised, first hand and very real account of the question “what would we do if aliens landed here?”

Fear and curiosity leads to slums and experimentation, and a very tough lesson for an MNU field operative named Wikus van der Merwe. I’m not in the business of full plot narrative and Rotten Tomatoes reviews (which, by the way, put this film at a fantastic 89%)...I’m just going to tell you...do yourself a favor and see this one in theaters.

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