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An excellent psychological study of madness and the passing of madness to another person

  • Sep 1, 2011
Rating:
+5
This is a horror film. Its director said he wanted to explore the psychology of madness and the passing of madness from one person to another; and he succeeds in doing so. The film also prompts us to think.

In 1989, a serial killer, driven to inflict brutality upon teen age girls and then murdering them, kidnaps a six-year old boy who doesn't speak and happens to suffer from a disease that causes him not to feel pain. He teaches the boy all he knows, but five years later the boy still doesn't do what the killer does.

Unlike the boy who doesn't experience pain, the killer inflicts pain upon himself and sees something, sometimes a human shadow and sometimes the skeleton of an animal, that tell him to commit the brutal acts and murder, generally by stabbings. He seems to have twisted religious ideologies. He also seems to be overwhelmed with guilt. Viewers will have to listen and decide why he feels the guilt. Perhaps it is over killing (stabbing) animals, for his father was a butcher and raised him to follow this profession. What and why he hears the commands to kill is also something viewers need to decide. Perhaps it is both the voice of the animals and of his father. The animal may be speaking to him of the need for atonement for killing them by killing girls; his father by urging him to continue his tradition, although in a bizarre manner. He repeats several times: "If they have no feelings, they have no fear; but if they have no fear, why do they run?" The film doesn't explain this. He certainly knows that the animals and the girls have fear. Maybe he is expressing a sympathetic hope that the animals he killed had no fear. This would be consonant with his guilt feelings. Why he brutalizes and kills teenage girls is another question. Perhaps because they tend to scream and he feels the need to silence the screams of pain. Viewers will also need to decide how they understand the boy's development in the middle of the film and especially in the surprise ending.

A second plot involves Allison, age 17, who visits her uncle in this community after her parents die in a car accident. She becomes emotionally involved with an apparently unstable boy of about her age. The film is filled with drama and tension. These increase when the primary and secondary plots intersect.

The DVD has several special features. One is a long discussion about the film by its director, which is excellent.
An excellent psychological study of madness and the passing of madness to another person An excellent psychological study of madness and the passing of madness to another person An excellent psychological study of madness and the passing of madness to another person

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review by . December 19, 2011
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Caption
Now this is not a perfect film and might not make every ones personal favourites list but it is a good flick. I can see how some would not like it as much and how others could love it. It could be another low budget classic that picks up viewers the longer it is out. I personally think it is a really good movie especially if you have seen the first one.
About the reviewer
Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #66
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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