Sunday, 28 August 2016
DON'T BREATHE Deciphered
Donald Trump worms his way into everything these days.
He’s even managed to wiggle his way into a summer movie hit.
Don’t Breathe is a very entertaining movie which needs no help in order to take its pride of place at the top of its genre. But it does get help — and from the darn’dest things.
All entertainment is, after all, political.
So beware of those who say ‘It’s just a movie.’
I’m not suggesting a vast right wing conspiracy. But filmmakers want money. And the best way to get it is to make sure a movie —without being evidently controversial — strikes the deepest emotional chords possible.
Don’t Breathe is all about race and sex.
On the one hand there is a man with a dark complex past living alone in a house, and on the other hand there are three juvenile delinquents who attempt to rob him.
All these people are white.
Race enters the film (craftily) through the characters’ hair. The least sympathetic juvenile delinquent (and the gang’s leader) is called ‘Money.’ He also has a dollar sign tattooed on his neck, and sports dreadlocks. The man living alone in the house, on the other hand, sports — atypically — a quite magnificent head of perfectly coiffed white hair. He also wears a white t-shirt. He is very white.
The film is not accidentally set in Detroit — a poster-child for the abandonment of the American worker.
The very-white-guy-who-lives-alone also happens to be war vet, and also happens to have kidnapped a young woman — who he thinks is responsible for running over his daughter with her car.
This rather convoluted and somewhat unlikely ‘dark past’ (as ‘dark pasts’ in these movies go) clearly makes the very-white-vet into a very-angry-very-white-man-with-a- gun who has decided to take the law into his own hands, because he doesn’t trust the legal system to right the wrongs that will plague him until the day he dies.
In other words, he is a Trump voter, for sure.
And then we get to the climax.
You think it takes a lot to scare people these days? Well this movie is so scary, it will frighten not only pretty straight girls, but big butch dudes as well. The very-white-vet — when he is trying to impregnate a young woman with a turkey baster filled with his own sperm (don’t ask!) is then forced to eat his own ejaculate.
I’m not kidding!
I just thought you should get the news here, as most people will probably neglect to mention the sperm-eating incident. They will say they liked Don’t Breathe because it reminded them of Wait Until Dark.
At the showing I attended, the sperm-eating moment caused the biggest reaction I have ever heard from a thriller movie audience. Several young men generally indicated an extremely high level of manly discomfort.
All of which goes to show that if you want to scare straight guys, decapitation and disembodied entrails won’t do the trick.
But this rather seminal discomfort, I would posit, is highly hypocritical, as most men have tasted their own sperm at one point or other. (Or somebody else’s.)
Out of curiosity, if nothing else.
That this sperm-eating moment is a hugely ‘gay’ event in the film needs hardly to be remarked upon. And who do we habitually associate with sperm and turkey basters?
Why lesbians, of course.
Take my word for it: Don’t Breathe is one uncannily frightening thriller — and it’s destined to be the hit of the summer — but for reasons that perhaps, so far, I suspect, no one has mentioned.