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The Pope of Literature
Posts: 2553
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 4:24 am
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Re: 1408

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irishrosem: To me the plot in stories like these are so contrived to make them of little value. It's just like the skeptic of true love who is set-up to meet the man of his dreams--such plots are very rarely not forced.I'd agree that they're rarely unforced, but whatever. I really don't expect genre movies to be particularly naturalistic, and I find that they're most satisfying when they don't waste too much time trying to situate their scenario in some sort of plausible facimile of reality. After all, if I'm willing to bother with a movie about a guy trapped in a hotel room at all, why should I complain that the movie shows me just that?If your complaint is that it strains credibility that a skeptic would bother at all, I'd make three arguments: 1) it strains credibility even more that someone completely credulous would step into the situation Enslin blithely establishes for himself, 2) the movie does provide an at least passable argument for why he actively seek out that sort of situation, and 3) Michael Shermer does it all the time; he's just never been burned (and probably won't be, though it wouldn't shock me to learn that the character of Enslin was written partly in reference to Shermer).On the whole you can excuse it with the argument that, without the contrivance, there wouldn't be much to watch. Besides, the movie has much bigger problems than that.... Pan's Labyrinth. I won't give the plot away but I recommend it, if you haven't already seen it.I did. Very good movie. Del Toro is a much better writer and director than you would suppose if you had only seen his American production. I'd also recommend "The Devil's Backbone", which is sort of the younger brother to "Pan's Labyrinth".riverc0il: The substance of all most all horror movies is so far removed from reality it certainly suggests that a lack of belief in the supernatural is certainly a more rational perspective and at the least a skeptical open mindedness should be the minimum approach to anything of the nature.That's a far more pedantic point that I think most horror movie audiences would ever draw from a movie, nor do I think many (though certainly some) filmmakers would bother with that sort of thing.Take a writer like Lovecraft. He was a pretty staunch materialist and atheist, but I think his horror was less about demonstrating the implausibility of any alternatives to his own naturalistic worldview than it was about symbolizing the horror of a world devoid of overriding moral values and a benevolent suprahuman force. Lovecraft's modern editor, S.T. Joshi, may derive some personal satisfaction from interpreting Lovecraft's stories as a positive contribution to atheism, but it seems likely to me that most of Lovecraft's readers are drawn to the horrific aspects for their power to express emotion rather than any coherent worldview.
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