Sunday, July 17, 2011

30 Day Horror Challenge Strikes Back Day 27: Character you most enjoyed seeing get killed.

This question could be taken one of two ways. One is that the character had the best death, so you enjoyed watching them die. In that case it would be Philip in Nightmare on Elm Street 3. That marionette kill was so cool it didn’t matter if you had any opinion of the character or not. I believe the question was meant, though, as the character you enjoyed seeing “get what’s coming to them.” Who would I pick in that case? Perhaps a really hatable character like Cooper in Night of the Living Dead. Maybe a character that isn’t exactly hatable but is so damn annoying that you’re just glad they can’t talk any more, like Franklin in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Maybe a death that’s poetic, like that baby raper Rasa literally being “skull f**ked” to death in Serbian Film. Maybe it’s a death that is a fulfillment of a real life fantasy, like Paris Hilton’s character being killed in the House of Wax remake. There is one character that I hate worse than all of these though. One who I spent the entire movie close to screaming “JUST KILL THE BITCH!” at the screen. A character whose death is oh so gratifying. Step right up and claim your prize Mrs. Carmody!

The Mist is a seriously underrated flick. Even if it’s only for that amazing kick in the nuts ending, it deserves more mention than it usually gets. One of the things I love about it is that while monsters lurk outside, a human is an even bigger threat on the inside. It’s similar to Day of the Dead. The zombies are the constant threat outside, but Captain Rhodes and his boys are an even more pressing problem. By the way, Rhodes was my first runner up for this question. Mrs. Carmody just edges him out though, because she really strikes a chord in me by pressing one of my huge hot buttons.

I have an immense hatred for organized religion. Without getting into a huge religious debate here, it makes me sick when some person or group exploits people’s natural spiritual curiosity and fear of the unknown. It’s even more reprehensible when they exploit tragedy in order to do so. We could be here all day talking about how much I absolutely loathe religious predators, and Mrs. Carmody is the prototype. Everyone in that grocery store is terrified of what lies outside, and she exploits that fear and makes a grab for power. She used the other people’s desire for a solution and inability to understand what was going on to position herself as a religious leader. After all, the only difference between a religion and a cult is the number of members. Her impassioned, manipulative words that she claimed were from “god” whipped her followers into a violent, blood thirsty frenzy. Sound familiar folks? It’s the same thing that makes fanatical Muslims fly airplanes into buildings or dogmatic Christians bomb abortion clinics. Religious zealotry is a dangerous thing, and those that wield influence over it are almost always pure evil.

Frank Darabont and Stephen King were brilliant in the way they brought this character to life. Her dialog is absolutely spot on. The brainwashing tactics, moralistic posturing, dirty debating tactics, intentional issue confusion, and “us against them” misdirection of religious dogma (and a lot of political dogma) is brought to life with amazing clarity and realism. Marcia Gay Harden also does a great job of playing the role. Sometimes it's tough to know if she really believes something or if it's a devious leadership tactic. That ambiguity took a lot of skill to pull off. She handles the transition from just seeming like a kook to having a little taste of influence and liking it to being the ringleader of a mob in such a natural and organic way that it’s absolutely believable. I spent most of the movie shaking my head, amazed at how dead on the depiction of a bunch of brain dead sheep following the crazy lady because she said god speaks to her was. I expected the rational half of the survivors to take her out at several points. They even discussed the plan long before the moment of truth came. Fellow survivor or not, if someone is threatening the life of the group, sacrifices must be made. I’m talking about “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” sacrifice, not the human sacrifice of a child Carmody demanded. Since so many opportunities to take out the repulsive prophetess had gone by, I was not expecting it to happen when it did. The shot in the gut took me by surprise, and the build to the one between the eyes is short but beautiful. Everyone has issues that, when tickled just right in the context of a good movie, will immediately get them emotionally invested. Mrs. Carmody was that flashpoint character for me, so I enjoyed her death immensely. Here, watch the scene below, and I dare you not to cheer when that repugnant bitch gets hers. The Mist, by the way, gets two severed thumbs up and if you haven’t, you definitely need to check it out.

1 comment:

Cash Wampum said...

shiiiiiiiiiiiit, I don't even have to READ this post. When that broad took one in the forehead I literallly jumped off the couch and screamed, "YEAH!!!" with my fist in the air. I NEVER DO THAT!! I hated this bitch, THAT MUCH!!!

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