100 Feet (2008)

 

This week the main topic in not just those gossipy hack mags, but the so called respectable news sources also, has been the marriage of Johnny Depp and his soon to be ex wife Amber Heard.

Because there is no other news of note happening in the world …
Depp, respected, and established actor adored by millions left his long term partner and mother of his children Vanessa Paradis, and, after a whirl wind romance married the young ingénue Heard, who is more than 20 years his junior.
The reason why the news of the impending divorce is so juicy to the gossip mongers, is because Depp’s young wife is alleging that she is the victim of abuse, both physical and mental. The reactions on the subject, are pretty extreme to say the least.
How dare she accuse Johnny ‘Tim Burton is my Home boy’ Depp? Doesn’t she know that he is beloved and respected? What a liar/gold digging whore/ disgusting human being she must be!
A judge granted Heard a restraining order, and Depp’s celebrity friends, ex partners and even his daughter came out in force to denounce the claims, labelling the young actress a fraud and accusing her of blackmail.
It’s interesting that all of this furore, no one has accepted the idea the Johnny Depp may in fact be guilty and Amber Heard could be telling the truth.
I mean, if a woman married a man decades younger than her, she’d be labelled a cougar, and a cradle robber. Even if her fortune dwarfed her young conquest, she would be the predator. Depp, a millionaire, a shrewd person, and not one for putting it about, chose to marry Heard of his own free will, chose not to protect that money of his with a pre nup, and knowing that this will result in a large payout and alimony without one, is supposedly the victim, if Heard divorces him.
He is not a victim. He is a foolish man, who wanted to chase a girl far too young for him, and couldn’t imagine the idea of her not wanting to stay married to him forever.

The sexism in the reporting and conversation around this story are infuriating and show a pretty worrying trend. Amber Heard may well be a victim of abuse – no one knows what went on behind closed doors but her and her more famous spouse. Just because Johnny Depp never raised a hand to Vanessa Paradis does not mean that he is incapable of doing so – after all he didn’t marry her either, but he is certainly capable of it. John Wayne Gacy had two wives that had no idea about his predilection for torturing and murdering young boys until he was caught.
You never truly know a person, and even the person you think you know best in the world could be capable of violence, or things that you can never forgive. We only ever show others what we want them to see, and just because you’ve seen some films with a guy in, doesn’t mean that you know what kind of person they are, after all, I’m sure he has a top notch PR firm at the very least.
Amber Heard may well be a victim, and Johnny Depp may be innocent, but sadly, it isn’t the point. The point is that when someone in the public eye makes the decision to come out as a victim of abuse and is vilified and victim blamed in such a fashion, it makes it so much harder for women and men to come forward and ask for help.
Bill Cosby, Rolf Harris, and the now infamous Jimmy Savile’s victims were shamed before anyone had any of the now overwhelming facts and evidence against them, and nothing has changed. Status and position in society should have no implication on whether a victim’s claim should be taken seriously, for the law should treat everyone as equal.
Innocent until proven guilty should not just be applied to the accused, but to the accuser also.
100 Feet is the story of a woman who kills her violent cop husband in self defence. After being placed on house arrest, she is made to wear an ankle bracelet, and must remain within one hundred feet of her home at all times, hence the film’s title. Unfortunately for her, the former partner of her husband is staking the house out, to try and catch her out in some parole violation, and even worse the malevolent spirit of said husband, is out for some payback from beyond the grave.
I found the storyline reminiscent of the Doug Peterson case; the serial abuser who happened to be a cop, who was found guilty of the murder of his third wife, and his ill fated  fourth wife, went missing without a trace after expressing her wish to leave her controlling husband. Peterson’s wives repeatedly called 911 when he was violent, and because the police that came were his co workers and buddies, those cries for help and patterns of abuse went unchecked. Those ladies may still be alive today if those officers had done their jobs.
In my eyes they became accessories to those crimes, when they chose to look the other way.
The film is a slow burner.The subject matter is poignant and unsettling, as the injustice of a woman being punished for defending herself, the feeling of claustrophobia as she is forced to live in the place where the violence took place, and the knowledge that even in death, her tormentor is still calling the shots.
Famke Janssen is very underrated as an actress, and she is what gives 100 Feet the oomph it needed. Atmospheric, tense, and in places very disturbing, but the third act seems to fizzle more than bang. Though it has a solid dialogue, script and is definitely one of the better haunted house flicks I have seen, it had a lot more potential but just fell short at the final hurdle.
Original spooks, with a solid casting that is definitely worth a watch if supernatural thrillers are your bag. If you’re looking for extreme gore though, it’s lacking in blood and body count. That being said, it’s a clever film that addresses some sad realities of our society in terms of attitudes towards women.

 

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This entry was posted in 00's horror, critique, feminist horror, fiction, film and media, ghost story, horror, murder, Noughties horror, opinion, pop culture, psychological horror, rant, revenge, supernatural horror, thriller, Uncategorized, women's lib horror and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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