In 1994, the film industry was struck by Oliver Stone’s masterpiece, Natural Born Killers. The original screenplay was written by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino who, in a 2003 interview with Playboy magazine said, “I had my name taken off the script just so people wouldn’t think I had written that.” He hated the film so much due to Stone’s alternations that, confirmed by the Tarantino Archives, he published the original draft in 2000.
The Czech New Wave was a film movement that emerged in 1963 which writer Simon Hitchman in his 2015 article suggested was due to increasing pressure for socio-political reform within Czechoslovakia. The country was in the midst of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSR) period in which the country was under communist rule. Film makers needed a voice to combat this oppressive rule and thus the New Wave movement began. During this period, a renowned female director, Vera Chytilova; ‘first lady of Czech cinema,’ according to Fox in 2014, released the film Daisies in 1966. The film is a 70-minute experimental, absurdist look at two young girls who, after deciding that the world ‘has gone bad’ decide that they themselves will ‘go bad’ too. They embark on a series of anarchic, destructive behaviours as a rebellion against society. Theorist Shaviro in 2007 wrote that he regarded Daisies as a ‘violently nihilistic assault’ against the conventions of filmmaking, social normalities and even the spectator themselves.
By now, we’re all used to the typical contemporary style of horror that includes jump-scares, clichès and plenty of gore. It is arguably becoming one of the most boring genres of filmmaking because, well, everyone knows how to do it. There is a clear narrative formula in each, a family’s house is haunted, a child gets possessed and there is a big climatic confrontation in the last 20 minutes and they almost always end on a cliffhanger. Although entertaining, I for one am very used to this and so I am no longer frightened by mainstream horror films. I desire something innovative that challenges expectations and pushes boundaries in a shocking and experimental way. In summer 2018, I watched a film that ticked all these boxes, and I am about to tell you why.