by Jaimie Grijalba
First, I am extremely glad that I’ve had the chance to write about the films of Richard Kelly for the science fiction countdown, and I hope that this doesn’t come as a surprise when I say that his three features are in this list and they’ll come up as we go up on the list. So, without much else to add, I give you the first of my three collaborations to Wonders in the Dark for this countdown.
People can get furious when they try to come to terms with something they can’t fully understand, and sometimes that derives into violence and overall nastiness, something that is a matter of moral discussion, especially when we’re speaking about the nature of human nature when contrasted to the danger of the unknown. What I just said could be applied to both the protagonists of the last directed film of Richard Kelly (please, make more) and to the vitriolic and almost incomprehensible negative reactions that some viewers had when confronted with this work. It is, ultimately, its opaque and almost hidden continuity of events that make it fascinating and at the same time subject of the most polarizing views that I had the chance to enjoy reading at the time of its release.
But honestly, who cares about the reaction of audiences back then in its release, when all that matters now is how I saw it then and how I think of it now. If there wasn’t already another movie where I plan to use this statement, I’d probably say that this is one of the most underrated films of the last decade, mainly because it was taken for granted due to everything that seemed to surround it. It was a Richard Matheson adaptation, an adaptation that some had already seen in an episode of the 1980’s Twilight Zone, with the acting of Richard Marsden and Cameron Diaz, among many others, and marketed as if it were some sort of thriller about the idea behind what happened with a box that had a button and a question behind it: would you press it if it gave you a million dollars but it killed a man you didn’t know? (more…)