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Booth's Blog: The Beauty Of The Abandoned
By Emily Booth, Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Emily with chopperThere seems to be an almost primal-gut need and attraction for our forgotten past, abandoned places once the site of life and activity, now left, lost and derelict, mere echoes of their former glory. I personally am incredibly attracted to the idea of urban exploring and when I was a nipper regularly indulged in breaking into old dilapidated houses, flats, schools and churches before the term ‘urban exploring’ was even coined. But why? What is this fascination all about? Are these buildings a ‘bricks and mortar’ version of ghosts? Is it tapping into our primal need for discovery? This sense of urban decay, especially buildings or places that once housed laughter, entertainment, beauty and opulence, now empty, destroyed and silent. Does it make us feel connected to the people of the past? Are we just inherently attracted to empty places that give us a much needed sense of discovery in a world where everything has already been discovered?

Our UK TV premiere this Friday really is all about location, but here there is a psychological element too. Confined sees a young disturbed woman take on her first job as a night security guard for a huge abandoned apartment complex. A luxury opulent place that was built during more prosperous times, now a victim of recession and simply left, unfinished. Vast atriums decorated like Greek temples fill the screen as our protagonist explores this amazing place devoid of human life. Or is it…?! For she notices certain rooms conveniently left off the blueprint in the security. However, with her own fragile mind crumbling, is she merely paranoid or is there something truly disturbing going on in the forgotten locked rooms? With an amazing sense of dread you soon realise the building, like the woman herself, has a history…..

Such themes have formed a rich tapestry of films in the horror genre – for where better an environment for tales of doom, death and destruction than in these ghostly buildings? On Horror Channel alone many films such as ‘After…’ where three friends head to subterranean Moscow to explore it’s abandoned metro line and ‘Closed for the Season’ (disused fairground) tap into our love for all things abandoned. The derelict theme park has become a form of twisted tourism in itself with countless parks left as if they were suddenly emptied of all human existence; with big wheels and rollercoasters now covered in moss and creepers. And perhaps here lies the reason for the allure. What would the world look like if humans disappeared? What would our legacy be? Would mother nature take on her rightful place once again? Are these places an unnerving representation of our past, present, and possible future? Is this how it would look and feel if a devastating disaster obliterated us just as it did with the dinosaurs?

Something for your grey matter to ponder at any rate – don’t miss the UK TV premiere of Confined Friday at 9pm.


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