Horror can come in many fashions. Whether through supernatural elements, gore, or even just a thriller that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, it seems that there typically is never a shortage of films falling into horror genre, especially as Halloween happens to come around.
However, even then there’s still a separation between the screen and real life as many of us will never actually end up being haunted by some demonic ghost, or come across a serial killer who seemingly can’t be stopped by bullets. Sure, there may be strange shadows that we see lurking around the corners or weird sounds that catch us off guard every once in a while, but more often than not, those typically turn out to be nothing.
Which is what helps to separate the screen from real life and what helps horror films maintain their popularity as being scared can be fun, so long as it’s never something which really provides any danger or never something where our own well-being is actually involved.
It’s also why sometimes the most horrific films don’t involve any gore, thrills, or supernatural elements, but are actually social commentaries on the world we live in simply because they’re actual terrors that we may experience on a daily basis.
Something which makes Suburbicon so fitting during this Halloween season.
That’s because Suburbicon, like most films involving the Coen brothers, involves a dark element, one, which in this case is allegorical, but not in an a sense where the actual allegory is hidden under layers that require thinking.
No, this allegory is blatant. Something which may or may not have been done to ensure that the message and the meaning were understood by each member of the audience, and which results in something profoundly disturbing in a culturally pertinent, and perhaps necessary, way given the current social climate.
In no small part, this is due to the fact that everything seems so awkward. From the setting of Pleasantville’s darker twin to the overly present racism to the fact that even if there is a moment where you would consider laughing, doing so often feels too uncomfortable to even do so given how closely the mirror reflects certain opinions and a dark underbelly that has seemingly become more commonplace and prevalent.
What’s even more surprising, however, is the fact that most of this is seemingly a side story, something which is generally just meant to add additional leverage to the main character arcs, but which comes across so strongly, and so blatantly that it not only helps provide additional meaning, but also helps to even further point to the absurdity of a public who is so entrenched with their own opinions and biases.
And, it’s precisely for this reason that Suburbicon could not have come at a better time.
Suburbicon is in theaters nationwide October 27, 2017.