The Thaw

The Thaw


(Fearnet-May 31, 2010)


Horror and science fiction seem to work their magic best when it can serve as a communicator for real world fears and concerns. When one mentions “Great 50’s sci-fi” (if one mentions it) they are more likely than not referring to the films that dealt as allegory for the Cold War. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” perhaps the most shocking of seventies horror was said to serve as commentary for the American Dream and America’s involvement in Vietnam (these claims are being greatly debated around these parts currently, maybe we can deal with that some other time).

And now we have Global warming. And this is at least the second horror flick utilizing all that comes with the big GW (Larry Fessendon’s geo-horror “The Last Winter” being the first I can recall).  If these films are more in your face and obvious it is because there is no hidden message or allegorical symbolism to be found here. Global warming is the cinematic equivalent of global warming in these cases. Martians ain’t Russians in this new world. And while I do believe that one can site the recent war films as an example of sloppy and lazy film folks (both watchers and makers) unwilling to do anything but hit the nail directly on the head, in a sometimes stomaching churning bout of literal directness, I believe these geo-monster makers would argue that in their case anyway, it is necessary.

“The Thaw,” for instance, contains much talk about how people are unwilling to change. The world’s days are numbered. Global warming is a proven reality but we deny it because it is convenient. They need to be shaken. They need to be upset in order to deal with these issues before it is too late. The fifties science-fiction dealt with the fears of the Cold War. These films are trying to instill fear into the subject.

And things getting warmer isn’t as scary as bug-like vertebrae that lay eggs within you, causing contagion and death. That’s for dang sure. Someone should make Al Gore aware of this development. I don’t know anybody pro icky egg bug-vertebrae creatures in climates warm or cold.

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