Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Introducing the World’s First Overtly Erotophobic Horror Movie, or Thoughts on Little Deaths

Little Deaths (2011) is a boundary pushing, hard NC-17 British anthology horror movie that seems to be based on traditional Freudian thought that all horror movies stem from fears of birth, sex, loss of virginity and above all, females.  I do have an affection for anthology genre films, they allow the filmmakers to focus on frights without being distracted by overly complicated plots or characters.
In House and Home, a well-heeled Christian couple with a sex dungeon in the basement  (don’t they always) pick up the wrong homeless girl.  The second feature, Mutant Tool, focuses on backroom experiments milking a giant mutant Nazi wiener for a new designer drug that strays into David Cronenberg territory.  Bitch, the third short movie, is a twisted revenge love story with a cynophobic dominatrix and her domestic abuse hipster boyfriend.
Disappointingly, there’s no wrap-around story, which is one of my favorite aspects of the anthology film and I would go on to argue is essential to the film’s success.  Little Deaths is interesting because it is a horror movie that assumes a porn friendly or at least a porn familiar audience, in the same way that movies like 50 Shades of Grey (2015) and The Human Centipede (2009) do their best to elevate the porn genre into mainstream or fringe cinema.
The strongest of the three is House and Home, which has a subversive undercurrent with a dash of Clive Barker, assisted in large part by the performances of Luke de Lacey, Siobahn Harrison and Holly Lucas as Richard, Victoria and Sorrow.  However the hypocritical deviant Christian trope is nothing new, and has enjoyed a rich tradition since Chaucer wrote about those naughty monks and nuns in the 15th Century.

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