Wednesday, October 13, 2010

31 Days of Halloween: Ravenous

All wars are horrific and terrifying in their own unique ways, but there’s something about America’s first few, namely the Civil War and the Mexican-American War, that, perhaps due to their placement so far in the past, hold a special sort of freakiness. Ravenous, one of my favorite movies in general, uses this to its advantage, tapping into the torturous carnage of both wars while simultaneously reaching into our fears of the unknown wilderness, particularly the vast American West. Mentally disturbed after waking up on the very bottom of a pile of corpses during the Mexican-American War, Captain John Boyd (Guy Pierce) is stationed at a remote outpost of Fort Spencer after it's discovered that he cowardly ducked under said corpses to escape action. As the few men at the outpost start dropping like flies, he is forced to take matters into his own hands to defeat the devil (Robert Carlyle ), the evil of nature, cannibalism, and his own demons. An excellent piece of filmmaking in terms of the basics, I wouldn’t ever call Ravenous “scary,” but it’s a film that cleverly unlocks the darkness in its viewer, all the while keeping things on the near humorous and light before breaking out the big guns. And yes, that awesomely upsetting music was composed by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman. You can't make that greatness up.

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