Tuesday, June 23, 2015
James Wan Dead Silence: Crossover Horror
Dead Silence is about a female ventriloquist that was turned into a ventriloquists puppet when she died. She, as the puppet, rips out the tongues of anyone who screams in her presence. It was directed by James Wan, a Malaysian Chinese in the USA. The death by screaming meme is common to Western horror - were I believe that we realise we are already a dead voice, and already dead voice. This is exemplified most forcefully in The Blair Witch Project where the brash narrative of American films students, are reduced to childish whimpering. Then finally, after they see the writing on the wall, and the filming becomes first person view and they are made to stand in the corner all that is left is a scream.
The whole monstrous ventriloquist structure is very much a metaphor for the structure of the Western self - it is exactly the metaphor I used when I experienced it.
At the same time, the reducing of victims to silence is a theme from Asian horror - where people are dragged into mirrors (Grudge) developer fluid (Grudge) turned into a negative (Ringu) or frozen (Barutan Seijin) i.e. and generally silenced (the legend of Enma, Ringu, Audition) and returned to the image since East Asians, or at least Japanese, think that they are their face. King Emna at the gates of East Asian Hell hangs the wicked on hooks by their tongues and shows them a magic mirror containing their lives. In Enma's famous book are not their deeds (as is the case with St. Peter's book) but only their names. http://flic.kr/p/v4dsox
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.