Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Horror Movie Challenge: Day 3

Today was an attempt to watch some hospital-related horrors. My first film was Visiting Hours which is rather obviously related to hospitals, although I had no idea what the story was going to be about. As it turned out, the story was quite relevant to my interests and would be an interesting film to show to people who claim horror is nothing but pandering to hot-blooded, sexist males. Sure, one film can't change an industry but still.

Anyway, the story revolves around a journalist named Deborah who is making a big deal out of a trial revolving around domestic abuse. The wife had been abused then finally fought back and killed her husband. With the strong journalist keeping this story at the forefront, the public were beginning to side with her. All except for a man who survived his own abusive father. For some reason, he has grown up with the same problems as his father and can't stand this journalist who dares say that women shouldn't be abused. As such, he stalks her and attempts to kill her. His failed attempt leaves Deborah in the hospital where most of the film takes place.

I appreciated that the movie actually had a plot to it, and a very interesting one at that. Women who speak up against the status quo have been (and still are) routinely silenced in a great number of ways. Sometimes it's just verbal, sometimes it gets physical, and sometimes much worse. Even though this movie was made in the early 80s the issues are still pertinent today. However, Deborah never gives in and I think that's a shining point of the film. She never backs down despite knowing that she is being targeted specifically.

Next up was Dr. Giggles. The name has been what has repelled it from me so far. Doctor horror stories are one thing but calling your nefarious murderer "Dr. Giggles?" It just sounded too ridiculous and not in a very good way. As it turned out, the movie at least had a reason for the naming. Of course it wasn't his real name just the weird habit he had of giggling at every awful thing that happened.

Again, the story tried something a bit different by offering up a lead heroine with a heart condition. This plays into the film because her mother died during routine surgery. Because of her own heart troubles, she is due for her own "routine surgery". Of course, she fears that she will die during the operation as well. Pair that story with a psychotic doctor and you've got an okay movie. Dr. Giggles himself tries to be a sort of witty maniac with doctor humor but it rarely is worth a laugh. The film is purely average.

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