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Booth's Blog: Home Is Where The Horror Is...
By Emily Booth, Sunday 26th April 2015

EB May 2015 2So April 16th was a big day for Star Wars fans as the trailer for the hellishly hot Star Wars VII was released a mere 8 months prior to it’s actual film release (December 18th) It’s almost like the good old days when you had to wait 6 months for a film to come out on video after missing it on the big screen.

It’s rare in our 3 second culture for such a big and lengthy build up to a cinema release – perhaps cinema needs the hype these days; that way excitement and anticipation builds and guarantees those much needed bottoms on seats. But its not just the mega busters getting the big build up; April 23rd saw the release of the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit and I have to say, it’s got me a tad excited, even though we will have to wait till September to see the movie in full.

Now we all know Shyamalan peaked The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable was really fun too, The Village less so and the less said about The Happening and The Last Airbender the better, but with intriguing spins on fairytale themes in The Visit lets hope the director is back on spooky track.

Here a single mum leaves her two children with their grandparents for the weekend. All seems tickety boo that is until (very specifically) 9.30 pm when Granny starts acting a little strange and scratching at the door! I’m creeped out already. The children soon realise their chances of getting back home are growing increasingly slim as Granny and Grandad are involved in something weird!

Now old people in general just look scary and horrid. Sorry Grandma – they just can sometimes. We all got freaked out by the skanky old gypsy in Drag Me To Hell.  ‘Being old’ is not often explored in horror neither are the elderly often given good characters, except perhaps in the brilliant Harold’s Going Stiff, a Horror Channel favourite. No, in horror they are usually just there to look a bit smelly and decrepit. Which makes the themes and ‘fear factor’ in The Visit rather bold and refreshing potentially. IE Being afraid of your own seemingly kind normal family…..

This got me thinking about horror within the family home; and I don’t mean films like Poltergeist – but rather films where the family itself is the sickness. A key example of this is Stephen Sheil’s Mum And Dad – one of the most disturbing and controversial horror’s I’ve seen in years and one we used to show on the channel. A film that explored the claustrophobic family unit and posed the horrid question ‘ what if being in a cosy close-knit family was just hell, where you obey their rules or suffer the consequences. In this instance the child has utterly no control; your life is in their hands. Something some children must contend with on a daily basis suffering abuse and constant fear…. This is a potent and somewhat controversial theme but it is also one that creates horror rich in meaning and social comment. If you want to explore this theme of dysfunctional family horror you should check out Horror Channel movies The Loved Ones on Friday May 1st at 01.05am and Twisted Nerve at Thursday 7th May at 22.50. In terms of The Visit that inspired this weeks blog, well lets just keep our minds open for the new Shyamalan movie and hope that he’s got a few more scares up his sleeve for us!

The Visit hits cinemas in the UK on 11th September.


Related show tags: HAROLD’S GOING STIFF, THE LOVED ONES, TWISTED NERVE
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