Sunday, 27 August 2017

Tobe Hooper will always be one of the great filmmakers. Films like Lifeforce and Spontaneous Combustion have had an extraordinary impact on me, and his work is on my mind in some capacity pretty much all of the time. I should do more to communicate why I think his films are so vital, and I will, but in the meantime, however belatedly it seems now, I'm re-publishing a brief Letterboxd write-up of Eaten Alive, written minutes after I saw the film for the first time earlier this year. I'm sure this will be the first of many appearances that Hooper's work will make here.

Eaten Alive | Tobe Hooper, 1976

A hotel on the outskirts of a twilit ghost town bathed in an artificial red haze, filled with a succession of rugs instead of carpet and illuminated by dozens of lamps instead of central lighting. This hotel is a failure of homeliness, a misuse of familiar elements (wardrobes in bathrooms, single beds in double rooms) that render it as inhospitable as its owner, a lonely, disturbed man who clearly wants to be among people but can't get close to anyone, reacting with brutal violence to any signs of the humanity he's been conditioned to reject — he's a man outside of nature, a wardrobe in a bathroom, an African crocodile in a tiny pond in Texas. He shouldn't exist in this loveless, monstrous form, but he does. And it's all just desperately sad.

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