Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Serial Killers by Hitchcock, p2

In some ways Frenzy, as Hitchcock’s second to last realized film, is a remake of his first realized feature. Both are set in London. Both are about serial killers of women. Both are about the apparent guilt of a man who ends up innocent of the crimes. However, whereas in The Lodger we never see the killer and the story is not about that character, in Frenzy we know early on who the killer is and even explore him as a character.

The killer in Frenzy is a pathetic, disgusting, terrible person—as any sexual psychopathic killer should be. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that the wrongly accused man—a hero in any Hitchcock film—is also a pathetic, temperamental, pretty lousy person as well. Certainly he is not someone for whom we are particularly rooting. Who is the hero here? The main detective is amusing, but mostly due to his silly if insightful wife. In fact, all of society in this film comes off lacking anything to admire. The reactions of people to the killings early in the film are similar to those of The Lodger, only more disturbing both due to the fact that we are hearing their jests and to the crass nature of those jests.

Sadly, the person who comes off looking the worst here is Hitchcock himself. Free of the restraints that forced him to refine his craft in earlier years; he is here free to indulge. We are left with shocking attitudes towards women and rape, far too much nudity that serves no storytelling, and a general dirty feeling about every aspect of London in the early seventies. (That last bit may not be Hitch’s fault.)

Once again, intentionally or not, Hitchcock makes a movie about a serial killer that serves more to expose the evil in the mundane of everyday society. Even without a killer on the loose, we would be disturbed to live in such a world. We are.

1 comment:

  1. Well reasoned. EXCELLENT conclusion and closing sentence....I am speaking of structure of essay, as well as content


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