Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jane LA: A Portrait of Modern Madness

I used to spend a lot of time exploring horror films for Dread Central. Among the new and old creators, you would cross your fingers hoping for a genuine moment of creativity that could spark your imagination and not just leave you scratching your head. Within these hundreds of films were a select few scenes that stuck with me, usually involving the monstrous nature of humanity rather than a finely crafted piece of special effects with tooth and claw and a gaping maw. An ordinary human being doing something absolutely terrifying simply because they can will always send a chill down my spine faster than any creature lurking in the shadows. 

When these creatures reveal their horrific nature, on film or in real life, we are left to wonder how they came to their decisions. What rationale might they have for committing these acts? We imagine madness is at the root of these thoughts; a rationale that gives us some comfort. THOSE people are crazy. We are sane. What happens when madness is explained away by eccentricity? When the monster has a pretty face and a pleasing demeanor and a voice so lyrical we ignore the raw meaning of every word? When a celebrity commits a crime, we see the capacity of a nation to forgive even the most horrible of acts. As the internet creates new celebrities weekly and Rolling Stone dedicates a cover to a young, good looking murderer, it becomes clear that the perceived line between good and evil is a travelling point left open for debate. It's late, so I hope I'm making sense. These things ran through my brain after watching Max Landis's new short "Jane LA"...a piece of work that is sure to get a lot of people thinking about the face of evil....and work that leaves you thinking is worth exploring...

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