Sean King O’Grady’s We need to do something, one of the newest horror movies of 2021, repeats perhaps the dumbest joke on the internet. With the rise of meme culture in the 2010s, pop culture fans have enjoyed turning their favorite movie moments into small, isolated, bite-sized units of communication. Sometimes it is simply easier to pinpoint a familiar moment in a movie to express your own emotions than to articulate what you feel deeply, for better or for worse. However, the reverse of this, when movies reference popular memes, it often feels cheap and complacent, like an old man trying to stay cool with kids, like “How are you guys?” meme with Steve Buscemi.
Basically, ending in a well-known meme, We need to do something arguably just a great feature-length joke. Reflecting the claustrophobic anxieties felt by families trapped inside during confinement, the film follows a family of four who are forced to seek refuge in a spacious bathroom as a hauntingly hellish electrical storm rages outside. Confinement is quite scary, but for a distraught adolescent, confinement with one’s own family is, of course, a total nightmare. By refraining from showing what happens outside the bathroom, the film draws on the power of suggestion over bloody action as a source of horror, with debatable effectiveness.
While the film’s story is largely confined and isolated from the outside world, We need to do something he breaks the fourth wall during the film’s finale when a phone beeps a familiar tone: Rick Astley’s hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” In other words, after nearly 90 minutes of suggestive horror and intense psychological build-up, the film pulls the carpet under its audience with a classic “Rick roll“bait and change.
Don’t ruin the joke by explaining it, but what does that “Rick roll“The funny internet joke is that it has no meaning or explanation. It is the humor of a sadist who enjoys fooling people just for enjoying the trick. It is almost darkly nihilistic in its uselessness, which is what makes it suitable for a movie. horror, especially a horror movie like We need to do something, which promises a powerful climactic revelation with its foreboding use of suggestion. Undermining this climactic revelation with the (admittedly catchy) futility of a “Rick roll“end, the sadistic horror of We need to do something it makes the public, as well as the family, the object of its cruelty.
It’s certainly a bold move that makes the audience the butt of a movie joke. Viewers often watch movies under the assumption that they are allied with the camera’s omniscient eye, so when the camera turns them on (metaphorically speaking) and breaks the fourth wall, the film runs the risk of negative reception from the camera. public. Independently of We need to do somethingmerits as a horror film, the film significantly displays the “Rick roll“meme to allow perhaps the most horrible interpretation ever: that all the suffering in the family was nothing more than a good laugh.
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