No to Unhinged
Trigger Warning: this blog contains references to domestic violence, abuse and gaslighting. These issues can be difficult to read about so please reach out if you need support.
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• 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)
• Lifeline (13 11 14)
• In an emergency, please contact police on 000.
• Current UofA students can reach out to the Counselling Service for support.
On a mission to try and fill my evenings with the pursuit of some new movie genres, I came across the movie Unhinged and was absolutely horrified by the message it sent. The movie is about a man who, when honked at in a traffic jam by a single mother, goes into a murderous rage. It features terrifying scenes of stalking, torture, murder and gaslighting. There were numerous moments throughout when the unsettlingly aggressive Russel Crowe character left me feeling anxious and angry.
I know, I know some of you are probably thinking, “but isn’t that the point? It is a reflection on humanity, how we resort to violent conflict and domestic violence as our darkest moments.” And to you good sir, I say this! Reflections on terrible issues that humanity faces are NEVER okay when terrible deeds are not condemned but are instead glorified. The car chase scenes and attacks are drawn out, almost revelling in their brutality.
When watching this movie, I couldn’t believe how easily it fell into a victim blaming narrative. The very last scene features the mother driving away after finally being free of the crazed guy trying to murder everyone, and drives across an intersection before being cut off by another car abruptly. About to honk the horn, she pulls her hand back slowly, followed by her son’s snide reply, “good choice.” I found the very implication that in some way, this woman’s decision to honk someone in the street made her responsible for the events that then unfolded, completely insane.
My reaction to this film is a firm and resounding ‘no’ and the outdated messages it sends to society.