For Your Queue: Horrific vs. Horror


By Hope and George


The great underseen flick Compliance is released to DVD today. One of the most impeccably made and provocative films of 2012, Compliance is a cautionary tale that’s so unnerving it’s easier just to disbelieve. But don’t. This true crime account offers a Milgram’s experiment come to life. The film spirals into nightmare as a fast food worker/alleged thief’s colleagues agree to commit increasingly horrific deeds in the name of complying with authority.

The work of a spot-on ensemble keeps the tensions ratcheted tight. Ann Dowd, in particular, could not be better as the manager who just wants to do what she’s told. Director Craig Zobel’s film is guaranteed to evoke heated debate.

Zobel’s film is horrific, but not horror. If you are looking for horror, though, we may have something. For a decidedly different but certainly no less provocative exploration of the nightmare of being trapped, dig back in the stacks to have a look at director Lucky McKee’s The Woman.

McKee’s film, penned by notorious horror writer Jack Ketchum, rethinks the family dynamic. Ketchum may say things you don’t want to hear, but he says them well. And McKee has no qualms about showing you things you don’t want to see. Indeed, the advanced screener I received came in a vomit bag.

Nothing happens in this film by accident – not even the seemingly innocent baking of cookies – nor does it ever happen solely to titillate. That’s what makes this tale superior to traditional horror porn, but it certainly doesn’t ensure that it’s your bag – vomit or otherwise.

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