28
Jan 06

THE FT TOP 13 ENDINGS: 5. The corpse return to life

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BOOO! The genre is horror/thriller. It’s Carrie (good), it’s Fatal Attraction (bad). Just when you thought it was safe to relax a final jolt just to leave you a little bit tingly. This has fallen into disrepute of late as a trick that’s too easy, too cheap. BEING CHEAP IS WHAT MAKES IT GREAT. Idiots. Why does everyone think it’s a criticism to say something is “cheap” or “lazy” all of a sudden? I’ll tell you what’s lazy, criticising something for being lazy. SAY WHY AT LEAST. Hoist, petard, etc.

Lazy tricks STILL WORK, and this one is designed to make you laugh as you leave – and that’s no bad thing. Carrie’s arm sticking out of the ground – YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS? someone is being mocked, either the preceding film, or the viewer. Either way you leave with a little grin. What shows that a lazy trick is effective, is that it can be used badly. Fatal Attraction, though it re-ignited a mini-craze for this ending, was a RUBBISH use of it cos it was REQUIRED. Not expected, cos it still managed to shock (oh come on it did, a bit), but the (rubbish) story required a definite end – there was no way “lady who like shagging” was going to end up any other way than 150% dead. Merely ambiguously unconscious/unmoving in the water is insufficient for an audience ravening for closure.

And as the rollercoaster comes gently back to the waiting queue BRAKE..ACCELERATE and stop. Everyone gets off smiling and giggling.

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