I spend a lot of time (emphasis on A LOT) thinking about, reading, watching, listening to true crime in many iterations. I also spend a lot of time thinking about and consuming sci-fi, fantasy, and horror media. Never has it occurred to me that there might be a correlation.
I always go into movies blind. Maybe I’m a purist or some sort of ass backwards control freak, but I most enjoy movies when I know my reaction to them is purely mine. While I always value a good, critical review, I don’t really care to know the Rotten Tomatoes rating or whether it lives up to the book version. It’s always more rewarding (and, really, more interesting) to compare a fully formed opinion of my own to everyone else’s and see where I fall in the space of media and consumer consensus.
So I walked into Parasite fully expecting a horror movie. Based on the classically opaque trailer and the fact that it played before some other horror movie, my brain filed Parasite away under “horror movies in 2019.” I, of course, did not get a horror movie. And, reader, it was perfect.
In her book The Witches Are Coming, Lindy West sums up an entire four hundred years worth of history with the spot-fucking-on statement, “Americans are addicted to plausible deniability.” When I read that (in the midst of procrastinating from writing this article), it hit me: that’s what fairytales are. Fairytales provide answers to questions we don’t want to dwell on for too long. Fairytales have no nuance, no grey area, no maybes. I’m not just talking about the versions that Disney fed to us with a spoonful of sugar, either. Fairytales are, inclusively, drawn with clear borders and clear answers. There are the good guys and the bad guys, a battle between the two, and a neat resolution without fail…and within that resolution, a lesson, of course.
All this to say, I walked into Gretel & Hansel expecting to be entertained but underwhelmed.
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