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By Emily Booth, Thursday 21st April 2016
Every now and then a Horror comes out that raises the bar and redefines the genre. I remember when SE7EN came out in 1995 (cannot believe it was 21 years ago - that’s actually frightening!) and it was THE film everyone was talking about. Nine years later SAW did the same thing but both painted the celluloid with grim urbanisation, stark lonely characters and explored killers walking the thin line between morality and murder.
This Friday’s network premiere is a cross between SAW and SE7EN with a little bit of maths thrown in as the twist. WΔZ (pronounced W Delta Z) refers to said maths, as two detectives uncover crime scenes where the victims’ bodies have the equation etched into their broken tortured bodies. What is the killer trying to prove?
Without giving too much away (as this is a film with an unexpected twist!) it seems everyone has a breaking point between ensuring their own survival and that of a loved one, can this moment be defined or measured? This is where the SAW element comes into play as the killer tortures the victims to the point where they must decide who survives. At one point the film focuses on the famous novel by Richard Hawkins called The Selfish Gene (the film’s US title was actually The Killing Gene which highlights the deeper meaning behind the film even though this confuses what the film is actually saying!)
With genetics being the driving force behind the darker side of human nature here, I thought I’d delve a little into this idea; is there a killing gene? Recent research into Psychopathy has brought to light evidence that violent behaviour is linked to people carrying the MAOA gene. Controversial as this is, there does seem to be a gene that differs the psychopath from the average person. The really interesting point I found though, is it seems psychopaths can have a genetic predisposition to aggression, but depending on your background can manifest in different ways. For example, a well brought up person with this gene may well just become an incredibly successful business man, or ruthless leader. If they get messed up by a traumatic childhood however, they might just turn into Ed Gein… so goes the argument in any case. Food for thought!
WΔZ is not your run of the mill torture flick, but rather has a scientific approach, and a somewhat depressing realissation about human nature, altruism and survival. But you don’t want to get too bogged down in that! It’s stylish, has a truly stellar cast (Stellan Skarsgård, Tom Hardy, Melissa George, and Selma Blair) and is impressive for its production values alone, being shot entirely in Belfast but made to look exactly like down town New York!
Don’t miss the Network premiere of WΔZ this Friday 22nd at 10.50pm!
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