Monday, April 3, 2017

On the Devil’s Candy


The Devil’s Candy is an Australian Metal inspired Horror movie that is a noteworthy example of potential not fully utilized.  It’s a film that contends that the Devil is not some cartoonish “ooga-booga” Halloween figure but a personal one of destruction and Anti-God sentiment.  The film fails for two main reasons.  A – most of the characters are unbelievably stupid and don’t act in the climax the way almost any half-intelligent person in the situation would.  But more importantly B – it contends that our notions of Satan are childish and a more realistic interpretation of the personification of evil is necessary all the while resorting back to a childish notion of evil.
The childish notion I’m talking about is the main antagonist.  A paranoid schizophrenic who believes he hears Satan telling him to feed him (kill) children because they are “his candy.”  The uninspired and sophomoric twist is it must be Satan talking to the disturbed man because in the same house a painter gets graphic depictions of children that the bald jogging-suit wearing man murders.  Flat-out telling you, “it’s the devil.”
This isn’t exciting or clever writing.  I don’t think it’s intention is to convert anyone to Christianity, but it doesn’t show a clever or thought-provoking notion of Satan and if anything shows how childish Bronze-Age Mythologies are.  If the film was smartly written, it would follow in the steps of Total Recall and make it indiscernible between a world where evil exists because Man is fundamentally corruptible by vice and a world where evil exists because Man is fundamentally corruptible by vice, directed by Satan’s intentions.  Inserting notions of us serving Satan not deliberately, but through pursuing our personal pleasures and desires rather than seeing every person as an end-in-themselves and having a society where actions and policies exist for the benefit of all rather in self-interested conflicts of markets.
This would bring up notions that Schopenhauer (an Atheist) brought up in his writings.  How it does seem at times that this world is Purgatory or Hell, and we exist for the benefit of the Devil rather than any God; unintentionally furthering his goals through our indifference towards the well-being and happiness of others.  And of course, there’s Schopenhauer’s quote of every time a man ejaculates into a woman the Devil laughs.
It does have good things in it, the most noteworthy being the music.  Metal isn’t often used in films, so it’s a tad refreshing to hear Metallica in a movie whose genre you would suspect would utilize head-banger music more often.

It’s fine as a mindless horror movie, but it’s a shame that not more is done with its premise of reconceptualizing Satan/personal evil to be something more tangible and less childish.  The other Horror film the director made about a teenager who is captured by an obsessed girl and her father I thought was the same as well – fine but overpraised.  And when people claim that a movie is exceptional and unique in the most mediocre and unoriginal genre in existence but their claims are found to false it’s a tad disappointing.

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