FightClubis a thrilling and captivating film, with some very interesting plot twists,which will keep you hooked until the very end. Edward Norton stars as theun-named protagonist, whom suffers from multiple mental health issues and BradPitt stars as his unlikely best friend, after the two meet on a plane. Aftertheir unlikely bond is formed, the pair soon become ambassadors of men, whenthey create a secret all men’s club. The club has a set of strict and definedrules, where men go to release anger by beating each other almost to death insome cases, soon known as Fight Club.The polysemic messagesencoded within the dialogue, story and cinematography help to make Fight Club all the more compelling, asit leaves the text open to your personal interpretation, therefore allowing youto gain your preferred gratifications from the text.When watching Fight Club, the idea of the crisis ofmasculinity is a very potent theme throughout the film. This therefore made thefilm more interesting to watch, as it provided a thought provoking topic tothink about whilst watching and thus making the film more engaging.
One scenewhich strongly portrayed some of the ideologies of this theory, was whenNorton’s character was attending a help group for males with testicular cancer.The mise-en-scene that David Fincher(the director) has used within this scene, hasbeen carefully thought out and used extremely well, in order to convey the ideathat the male characters featured in the film, are in a crisis of masculinity.For example the scene is shot in a school gym, typically you would see this as thetype of place, where very stereotypically masculine sports take place, such asbasketball.
However, the men in this scene are using the area for activitiessuch as, sharing their feelings and offering support to one another and even inthis day and age, a lot of us still see this as a very typically feminine thingto do because, of course, it is absolutely against the rules for men to showany kind of emotion that may portray signs of weakness. Moreover, if you are into the topic of feminism and the ongoing battle that it faces, you will be sureto enjoy Fight Club, as it exploressome of these issues, especially surrounding the feisty female character, Marlasinger, wonderfully played by Helena Bonham Carter. Throughout the film, thereis an underlying feeling of misogyny, as we a wrongly and annoyingly forced toidentify with The Narrator because it is his voice who takes us through thefilm. Therefore, the more potent response from the majority of us is toempathise with him and not Marla. Although sometimes annoying, it enables anarrative that is able to explore the inequality between men and women in oursociety, which is a very important issue that needs to be heard about, in orderto be resolved, therefore including it in films as big as Fight Club, with big stars is a really good way of beginning tosupress the ignorance within society and making people listen.
In addition to this, thetheory of the crisis of masculinity, is also expressed through the well thoughtout cinematography by Jeff Cornenweth within the scene. For example, there isthe reoccurring use of a shallow depth of field within the scene, thus makingit clear, possibly to more so, to the members of the audience whom have a goodunderstanding of film, how the men donot fit into their masculine surroundings and therefore illustrating how theydo not fit in with their surroundings. Moreover, there are otherstrong themes that also run throughout the film, which may help you to createan understanding of the film, making it easier to follow and therefore moreinteresting.
These themes are postmodernism and consumerism. Postmodernism isthe idea that nothing is no longer original, but instead a combination or copyof the originals. Why would this make the film more interesting? Well, byhaving a basic understanding of the postmodernism theory, it will allow you topick up on the subtle hints that point towards postmodernism and this will helpyou to form an opinion on the topic and debate the issues that the film isexploring. The idea of consumerism is possibly one of the most successfullyillustrated themes through the mise-en-scene and dialogue throughout the film.For example, the Narrator and other characters have a very obvious obsessionwith branded products, such as IKEA and Starbucks.
Fincher knew that the film was only going tohave a niche audience due to the highbrow content, but he still put a lot oftime, effort and thought into carefully portraying all of the complex themesthat I have mentioned. For this, he deserves a lot of credit because, althoughthe film was made in 1999, these issues are still very present and ongoing intoday’s society and they need talking about in order to begin to resolve themand Fincher does this in a really effectively as he puts forward the ideas in avery thought provoking way. On the other hand, although I think that that thesethemes are really well illustrated, interesting and important, because thereare so many complex things to think about and try to pick out, at once the filmdoes start to become difficult to follow. At some points it even becamepainfully frustrating to watch and unenjoyable, as I was constantly activelytrying to decode the film and it all got a bit too much to take in, in just asingle sitting.
FightClub, is one of those films that you can watch an infiniteamount of times and notice something new and view changing every time,therefore making it almost impossible to properly understand by only watchingit once. You will probably end up getting sick of watching it, but the constantcuriosity of what you might find out the next time you watch it is compellingand you will not be able to help yourself. Finally, the major plot twist at theend just makes the film. The twist reveals a case of serious mental illness andan unlucky connection between The Narrator and Tyler Durden.
Although, at firstthe concept can be rather discombobulating, however, once you gain a fullunderstanding of the film, the themes and the physiological genre, you willsoon realise that it is one of the best plot twists in film history. Happy Death Day:HappyDeath Day is a spectacular example of a hybrid genre film.Although it is labelled as a horror movie, the film depicts conventions of ahorror, rom-com, action and even a psychological thriller. At some points it willmake you want to cry with laughter and other points it will make you want toquiver behind the seat, whilst trying to gather the popcorn that you sentflying across the cinema, as you jumped out of your seat in a mad fit… Thus making the film veryinteresting and entertaining to watch, as it has successfully tackled the sovery difficult task of attempting to attract a wide variety of audiences.
Themovie has been classified as a 15, which I feel is fitting, as the use of ahybrid genre means that there is something for people of a younger age, as wellas adults because it is not all just blood, guts and gore like other horrormovies, such as, the Insidious franchise(2010-18). Happydeath Day starts off very slow and almost begins to becomepredictable, as it reaches an obvious climax very early on in the film.Therefore, making it a bit boring to watch before the plot begins to develop.This was a poor attempt at the initial process of engaging the audience, fromthe director (Christopher B. Landon).
However, it is redeemed as the plotbegins to thicken and more enigmas are introduced into the narrative. From thearchetypal blonde, female victim protagonist (Jessica Rothe), to the typicalslasher killer hiding behind a scary mask, HappyDeath Day follows very typical narrative and structure of a horror film.The film is centred round the female protagonist’s (Tree) birthday from hell.After a long day of battling a hangover and disappointment after disappointment,Tree ends her day by getting herself brutally murdered, when a masked killerfollows her under a creepy bridge and stabs her to death, as she is making herway to a party, late at night…and all alone…Stupid, right? Yet another filmwhere we are all sat on the sofa screaming, “No, do not do it! Turn around youBl**dy idiot!” Not very exciting, but still, we watch because it is just whatwere used to. During the first birthday of Tree’s, she is conveyed as a veryself-centred and arrogant character.
Being rude to, or even ignoring almostevery other character that she encounters on her way home from her one nightstand, Carter’s (Israel Broussard) college dorm. She starts her day in Carter’sroom, as she wakes angrily, he kindly and timidly reintroduces himself andmakes sure that she is okay. Tree responds to this by treating him like a pieceof sh*t on her shoe, as she totally dismisses his kindness and swears him tosecrecy. The next character that Treecomes across is Carter’s roommate, whom she rudely storms past, during herswift exit.
In the court yard a friendly student approaches her and asks her tosign a petition, in this case Tree totally ignore her and even goes so far asto scoff at her. This attitude just gets increasingly worse when Tree gets homeand rejects the mini birthday cake that her roommate had so kind-heartedly madefor her, Tree gets dressed and rushes off to her class, demonstrating 0gratitude for the gesture and even throws the cake in the bin. It soon becomes clear when Tree wakes up thenext morning, after her brutal murder, only to find herself in Carter’s dormroom again as she begins to relive her birthday from hell again, that thehidden message behind this film is going to be something about betteringourselves. It is also very obvious that as soon as Tree improves her attitudeand realises her mistakes that she will stop reliving her death/birth day andthat she will be able to live a full peaceful life. The romance between her andCarter is also inevitable, however, although this is sounds very typical of ahorror movie and all round a bit rubbish, it is all made up for with, theenigma of who the killer is and the KILLER plot twist at the end. Every birthday that Tree relives she is ableto come up with strategies to try and overcome her killer, obviously failingmultiple times, this is where elements of slap stick comedy come in and itbecomes funny that she keeps getting killed and you almost find yourselflaughing at repeated failure. Every morning that she wakes up and finds herselfon the same day she starts to care less and less, as well as this being funny,you are able to start identifying with her as a character because you love thefact that she just does not give a sh*t and almost start to envy her. Rotheacted her role exceptionally well, as well as this Landon and the writer(ScottLobdell) have done really well with this, as it is not often that people canproduce a character, which the audience can go from hating to loving, in such ashort amount of time.
From this point onwards the enigmas continueto build and become utterly gripping and it also helps that you are nowdreadfully in love with the protagonist, but the whole thing is finally toppedoff with one of the best plot twists since Fight Club (1999), but in order tofind out more, you will have to go and watch the film, which is out on DVD inJanuary 2018. Night of the Living Dead:Nightof the Living Dead (1968) directed by George A. Romero, ispossibly one of the best Zombie horrors ever made, going on to influence almostevery modern zombie movie there is. The film is the first film of a three part trilogy,the second two being Dawn of the Dead (1978)and Day of the Dead (1985).
Night of the Living Dead, holds up as astark, eerie and unrelenting parable of dread. The film was shot on an extremely low budgetof just $114,000. It was shot with grainy film stock and the majority of thecast and crew were considered to be amateurs, giving it a no-frills approach tothe material. Throughout the film, the handheld camera techniques is usedfrequently and in just the right places which creates an over baring build-upof apprehension and tension. The film starts when abrother, Johhny Blair (Russell Streiner) and sister, Barbra Blair (Judith O’Dea)drive to Pennsylvania on a trip to their father’s grave and Johnnyteases Barbra by chanting, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” Soon after hisgag comes true, when a roving, flesh-eating zombie promptly dispatches him andchases her to an abandoned farmhouse. The tension only increases as ourhelpless heroine, Barbara, slips into catatonia, wandering around the house andblankly staring at music boxes and avoiding the mutilated corpse rotting at thetop of the stairs.
To anyone watching the film today, this would seem to be yetanother typical horror plot, however, back in 1968 when the film was made, theaudience had never really seen anything quite like this before, thus being partof the reason why it has been branded one of the best zombie movies of alltime. The hero of the film is aresourceful, intense black man named Ben (Duane Jones). After he boards up thehouse and delivers a searing monologue about his narrow escape from thecreatures outside, he has to deal with Barbara’s increasing hysteria. Eventhough the movie never directly makes a statement on racial or sexual tension,it is unavoidable when you have a scene where he has to slap Barbara intounconsciousness (as an act of atonement, finds her a pair of slippers for herbare feet). While our survivors deal with the nightmarish situation at theirdoorstep, they also have to deal with each other, and that subtle discomfiturebetween Ben and Barbara lends an eerie frisson to their scenes together andtherefore makes the film all the more engaging and exciting to watch. The troubled partnershipbetween Ben and Barbara is as much a sign of the times as the zombie invasion.
There is much more going on here, and much more reason for this horrorclassic’s, timelessness, than a straightforward Vietnam allegory. That said, asimpassive creatures lay siege upon the rickety house, the characters findthemselves in a situation as hopeless, devoid of reason and criminally unfairas the political climate of their era. There’s a brute force in Night of the Living Dead that catchesone in the throat. As other survivors gather in the farmhouse, they come upwith plans of escape, of which continually go awry. No matter how many timesthey shoot the zombies, throw homemade fire bombs at them, wave torches in theair and board up the windows, the monsters keep coming. Once you tally up thecarnage, however, only two of the six principal characters die in zombieattacks; the others are wiped out by their own kind through short sightedness,stupidity or blind rage. Human error remains a chilling X-factor here, and thenotable sequence where survivors attempt to flee in a truck, is a series ofblunders that is painful to watch.
Romero shot the sequencesplainly, without operatic fanfare, and the effect of this is downright numbing.As for the ending, it’snotoriously downbeat. The farmhouse survivors end up in a calamitous mess, withalmost all of them killed in the onslaught. When help comes in the form ofpolice helicopters, attack dogs, and a posse of good old boys with shotguns,Romero subverts the notion that authority figures know best. When they arriveat the farmhouse killing off zombies in the fields and searching for humansurvivors, the outcome is hardly what you would expect. Audiences of the timefelt emotionally scared and vindicated at the same time, remembering theassassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. as the hicksheriff, instead of lending a helping hand, orders his men to fire at will andhit all moving targets “Right between the eyes.” This being thought provokingand causing people to question their trust of authority figures.
The final images arestill black-and-white frames of bodies (of people we have come to know) beingcarried to a raging funeral pyre on meat hooks, dehumanizing the dead among us.The ending has a staying power, inducing rage and nausea in equal measure. ThatRomero’s classic still conjures up such intense feelings so many years afterits making is a testament to its power. This film has been made so well that itis able to provoke so many different emotions for us as an audience, but aboveeverything the verisimilitude created throughout (disregarding the concept ofzombie invasions of course) through the setting and situation, makes the filmall the more terrifying because you find yourself placing yourself in the film,in the characters shoes. I think this is why the film works so well as a horrorbecause it is lasting and almost scaring.