I really did not know how to feel while we were watching Deadgirl in class. I felt as if this is something that I should not be watching because, I mean come on, who in their right mind would want to watch a movie about a group of adolescent boys obsessed with sex so much to the point that they would…what’s the word I’m looking for… “do it” with this dead, not dead, girl against her will.
This falls right in line with Noel Carrol’s idea of the paradox of horror that says that what disgusts us interests us and in a way that was what was happening in this film. I mean as much as I wanted to not watch what was happening because rape is bad, I just had to keep staring at the screen and watch how this all was going to unfold. I mean the one specific scene that I remember the most where I really could not turn away from what was happening was when Ricky’s bully found out what they were doing in the basement. Although it took some convincing from his friend to go along with it, he finally, reluctantly I might add, went through with it and had the infamous “Devil’s Threeway” with his friend. Kind of fitting when you think about it, but I digress.
Anyways, back to my “OMG I know what is about to happen but I just can’t find it within myself to just look away” scene, I already knew what was going to happen when he unzipped his pants in front of the Deadgirl’s face and I cringed as soon as it happened because I’m pretty sure that everyone in the class knew what was gonna happen and yet we still watching it happen. We all watched and cringed and gasped as the Deadgirl took a big bite out of that bully and we all watched as he screamed in agony and pain afterward. For me I totally flinched after that because the thought of that happening to me was just something I could not fathom at all. I guess that’s what Carrol is saying her in reading that as much as horror is out there is flip our perceptions and make us uncomfortable watching these films, that is what a good horror movie is all about. It sucks us in, no pun intended (am I even allowed to say this? Haha), and captivates us to the point that as much as we don’t want to see someone get their head decapitated (again, no pun intended and I really hope I don’t get marked lower for these side comments) or having someone’s insides come out, we just can’t find ourselves to truly walk away from the film because that is what we come to expect out of these sorts of films and that is why we keep coming back to them week after week.
I think from a feminist perspective as well, we see that there is a concretized example of the objectification of women where the Deadgirl is literally chained against her will and forced to just lie there and take all the abuse that is thrown to her. Even though we have no idea of who this “person” is we still somewhat sympathize with her because, dead or alive, no one should have to suffer through the abuses that she had to go through.
At the end of the day, I found Deadgirl to be an enjoyable movie. For me though, I enjoyed it more for it’s hugot than for the horror itself. I don’t really know what it is but the thing that struck me most in this movie was when even in her dying breath, and after all that Rickie tried to do for her, Rickie’s crush just couldn’t find it in her to show him any love. I mean come on, how much can a guy do for a girl, literally risking his life for her, and she still throws him away like he’s nothing. I’m not saying that I relate to this scene at all and even if I did I wouldn’t say it out loud but still, this girl has no appreciate for everything that Rickie did for her.
I wouldn’t call Deadgirl my favorite film of the semester but for me, it really embodied the type of film that really makes you cringe yet can’t look away and that is something that I “enjoyed.”
Source: Noel Carroll, “Why Horror?.” Horror, The Film Reader (Routledge, 2002).