31 Days of Horror, Day 21: The Lodge

Having tortured genre fans with “Goodnight Mommy” (2014), Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (this time partnering with screenwriter Sergio Casci) have returned to administer more pain with “The Lodge” (2019). The film focuses in on Aidan and Mia who are dealing with a particularly traumatic divorce and find themselves snowed in in a cabin with their soon-to-be stepmom. From there proceedings go from bad to worse, much much worse.

“The Lodge” has a claustrophobic atmosphere, building a palpable tension that makes much of the second half near unbearable. The film is etched in grief and the trauma of generations’ past, making it one of the most harrowing experiences in recent years. Franz and Fiala take their time, building their film slowly, with time spent crafting a set of characters that while not likely are deep and nuanced. Continue reading 31 Days of Horror, Day 21: The Lodge

The Exploitation of Mental Illness in Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction

If the purpose of film, like literature and other narrative-driven art forms, is, in part, to examine and portray under-explored or overlooked aspects of the human condition, then it is the perfect medium with which to explore mental illness and the impact it has on those effected by it. If, however, the purpose of film is simply to entertain and titillate, it is the least appropriate medium to use as an exposé on mental health. Some will argue that genre film, like genre fiction, is a “lower” form of the art and not meant to achieve much more than excitement or amusement. Continue reading The Exploitation of Mental Illness in Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction

Leia Organa: The Hero We Needed

The loss of Carrie Fisher is still stinging, but we were given a legacy that some could only hope to leave behind. She was someone who was frequently active in her work as a mental health advocate, taking her own experiences to help others. She was passionate in her stances, humble and humorous in her flaws, and…a fighter. She was also a talented writer, and unapologetically open. This role is definitely the one most thought of, but she did a lot more in Hollywood, in front of and behind the scenes.

I first saw the original “Star Wars Trilogy” when I was 5 years old. This was the early 90’s before we got the prequels or the extended universe. These films had a near-permanent place on my television. This story, taking the very relatable good versus evil premise and creating this fantastical franchise, would be nothing without the characters that live within. All the main heroes were inspirational to me, but Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) especially stood out. Continue reading Leia Organa: The Hero We Needed