Sunday, February 08, 2015


A dead person is a lot better alive


That’s not an outstanding film, but it is well-built and well-conducted. It is faithful to the original story and it reveals some of the worst evils ordinary people carry in their frightened souls, the dark sides of their souls. Just say, mister, what are these frightful and frightening things?

First of all our robotized cars. Before we were afraid, and Stephen King loved that fear of ours, of the car itself and the evil that could live in it, the way it lived in Christine. Now the car is nothing at all. The car is inhabited by a GPS, that simple and daily version of the mad computer of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, the Space Odyssey and that GPS has a masculine identity, in this film, whereas the car is necessarily a female symbol since it can contain us the way a cocoon or a womb would. It is the voice of the father inside the mother’s womb. That is reassuring up to a point, up to the point when someone from outside manipulates the GPS and turns it into a trap.

And that one is a woman. All evil comes from a woman, the eternal Eve, who manipulates a man, here the poor Tom the GPS. That’s already very frightening. This woman is the conspirator, the serial killer you imagine most of the time as being a man. But this woman is even worse than that because she is a mother.

The eternal Eve needs a serpent to put her on the road to evil, and that serpent is a two-headed one since it is a pair of brothers. That cuts deep into us, right through to the bone, or maybe even to the marrow in the bone. Two brothers unified in their crime. That’s really ugly, but two sons who, unified in their crime, are both manipulating their mother and manipulated by their mother, and they have to pay for the passage and give their mother some trinket, some trophy, some souvenir from the victims she sends them for their fun.

That is becoming blood curdling to anyone sane in their minds. But the film adds a few details that imply we are all living with a deep secret in our own memory, a big secret from infancy that is both motivating us and manipulating our own motivations. We are the puppet of the traumas, big or small, we experienced, then registered in our infancy and childhood, at times teenage, and that we yet buried deep in our unconscious or subconscious, and little is needed for it to come up and make us do the most horrific things or just fail in our most desired and dearest dreams.

The film then works very well even if it does not insist on the numerous details King gave us in this story, since he is such a meticulous writer. The reader then cannot ignore the most intimate details of the characters like the brand names of their underwear or the color of their bathrobes. And that is no metaphor at all. Some writers consider the truth of the story is in such details. I would agree for sure and at the same time agree to disagree: some details are at times there just to have some gross effect on us and I do not exactly appreciate grossness. I prefer horror and terror.


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