We each have a movie that we like, but that scares and terrifies us on a visceral level. I remember watching this movie late at night with my friend Francois-M in my basement late at night. He had been hearing about it as a "must watch."
It sounded interesting, so I said sure, let's to do it. We rented it at the video store and put it on.
When the movie ended, we both sat there, stunned.
The brutality of that movie shocked our horror-flick-obsessed mind. I remembered going about my day in a daze, shocked, repulsed, curious, enraged, smug, helpless, ashamed, and disgusted all in one. It wasn't "just" what you saw on-screen... It was all that was implied by that movie. The fact that your freewill could be taken away. That even such a vile and abject person could lose who they are and turn into a zombie. One has to wonder whether lobotomy would be better, more humane, than that. Oh the implications are terrifying.
I took a solid four days.
Yes, even after 23 years, I remembered it took me four days to sort out my feelings about this film. What a masterpiece of ultraviolence.
To this day, only two films I plan and brace myself to watch because they scare me: A Clockwork Orange and Night of the Living Dead (Romero's original).
Funny thing, with Halloween coming, the film came up and I immediately DVR'd it. I cannot wait to sit down and re-watch it.
But I am terrified of it.
There won't be no popcorn, just terror.
How did that affect me as a gamer? These themes are some that I care about: the loss of self, the return of karma, and the true nature of evil/ good. It has thought me that sometimes, the best thing to do is set the theme and explore it with an hyperbolic example.
Clockwork Orange wouldn't work on a mild-mannered, kind man. It needs a true scum. Someone who is completely reprehensible. Someone without any obvious redeeming qualities. Someone vile. Someone abject.
That's how a true villain should be, well most of them. The monster here starts with Malcolm McDowell's character but turns out to be society.
To see the darkness within one's self. To see the horrors of society. To learn to temper our natural urges for vengeance. That is what this movie taught me. To be wary of the darker emotions no matter how justified they are.
If you've followed NeoExodus, a number of themes from Clockwork Orange made their way there. I drew direct inspiration from there when I decided to write about the First Ones. The First Ones are irredeemedly evil and without conscience. But to what level should we stoop to make them understand?
How low are we to stoop before we become the monsters we despise?