It’s been a while boils and ghouls, but I’m back for a Samhain surprise.
Whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re going, stay safe and stay away from stupid.
Marginalisation is silent. It is invisible. It happens everywhere no matter the nationality or socioeconomic background. It is being passed over for jobs, mortgages, loans or housing. It is having your civil and criminal disputes, obstacles and rights treated as insignificant, or being gaslighted into thinking that you are overreacting to very real attacks or slights.
It is being excluded socially, educationally, financially, politically and medically. It is being disadvantaged through no fault of your own, being the subject of stigma simply for belonging to a certain race, nationality, religion, gender or sexuality. It is racism, ableism, sexism, ageism, bigotry and ignorance; and it is fluid like time. In different periods of history marginalised groups have been blamed for all the ills and failings in society. The Jews were scapegoated for everything from the killing of Jesus, the Black Death and poverty, Muslims are blamed for terrorism and extremism, refugees and immigrants have historically been blamed for job scarcity and rising crime statistics, homosexuals have been blamed for AIDS and the breaking down of the so-called ‘’traditional family unit’’ (whatever that is), and people of colour are targeted for just about every other damn thing that you can think of.
Its clever misdirection and propaganda by the people in power, to distract you from the fact that They (Politicians, The Rothschilds, The Koch Brothers, Murdoch, Big Banks, Big Pharma, The Media..), are creating the chaos, the misery and poverty; and are sneaking through new laws and loopholes to benefit the capitalist agenda while you are turning to your neighbour, worrying what they have that you don’t.
Your neighbour claiming disability benefits, or food stamps, is not the problem; it’s the magicians in power making elephants in the room appear invisible, right under your nose.
Spiral is a surprisingly astute horror that deals with marginalisation and discrimination, and giving your horror bone a delicious tickle with the lesson.
In the nineties, a same sex couple move into a quaint little neighbourhood in a small town with their teenaged daughter, while navigating the little microaggressions directed at their unconventional little family unit. When one half of the couple begins to notice that there is a dark side to the friendly surface of their neighbours, a chilling path of paranoia and intimidation threatens to tear their family apart.
Spiral is a great film on every level. Yes, it has that Rear Window cliché, of a lone male lead, looking for evidence of what he knows , and the paranoia that sets in when you spend too much time on your own; but I liked the modern angle, and the film has an excellent lead in Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman who brought a refreshing energy to the role of Malik, and pretty much carried the film.
It’s been accused of being boring and mostly filler, but I enjoyed the meandering creep factor, echoing those kitsch TV horror mysteries of the seventies, that I always had a soft spot for. For me, there is no greater horror than doubting your own reality, and not knowing whether the threat is imagined, or coming from inside the house.
It definitely deserves more love than it’s getting, and in these turbulent times, it’s always worth being reminded that you can’t trust always trust a friendly façade, and just because someone is different to your normal, doesn’t mean that they are anything other than human.