Every year I reserve the right to at least once have a very brief, half-assed kind of post in order to give myself time to…you know…take a nap, finish my laundry, and maybe go have a drink with a friend while watching the presidential debate.
I always hope it doesn’t reflect badly on the film itself but, in all honestly, it’s probably also a welcome relief to any potential readers considering my penchant for wordiness.
Today’s film is what I would consider a feminist horror film in that it is both directed and written by a woman, stars a woman, is based on a novel by a woman, and directly concerns the fears of women (caused by sexism) in 1980s Australia.
Oh…also…it’s about a haunted car. We really need more haunted car stories. This one is an understated haunted car story, if such a thing exists, and is played with a straightforward realism that I appreciate in horror (when done right). Even the main character is decidedly unglamorous. She seems like someone you might know much more than an actress playing someone you might know. She’s not particularly goofy, eccentric, or anything else: she’s just a normal person. Strangely, it’s odd to see a woman in a film from this period (or any period) playing an “everywoman” type. If you pay attention, most female roles in genre films generally conform to a well-known gendered stereotype or play against a particular well-known stereotype (though horror films, in particular, tend to take a more postmodern approach to stereotypes compared to other genres). Of course you could say the same for men, but that’s forgetting that one of the stereotypes for men is the “everyman.” The “everyman” type is also often treated in a sexist manner (most often as neutered or weak until he is transformed into a hero), but it is at least there, part of our cultural heritage, and familiar to audiences…
Anyway, to make up for a lack of in depth analysis of (or intuitive response to) DARK OF THE NIGHT (my preferred title for the movie), I am including a link to this other great blog project fittingly titled 31 Days Of Feminist Horror Films. It’s an annual project that is highlighting horror films by women or that may be of specific interest to women. Check it out:
P.S.: Today’s movie also features an AWESOME vintage Jaguar…if you happen to be into cars…
MR. WRONG aka DARK OF THE NIGHT (1985)