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Beneath Us
Posted on March 6, 2020

Beneath Us & Immigration Horror

Guest Post

Much like Jordan Peele’s Us, Max Pachman’s deliberately provocative debut feature Beneath Us presents the viewer with the subaltern- the dispossessed, those without power or a voice and forces us to question who we identify with. The title functions both literally and metaphorically. Four undocumented immigrants, Hector, Alejandro, Homero and Memo (Roberto Sanchez, Rigo Sanchez, Nicholas Gonzalez and Josue Aguirre) are hired by a rich couple, Liz and Ben Rhodes (Lynn Collins and James Tupper) as construction workers on their palatial home. What seems a comfortable job paid in cash soon turns nightmarish as they are treated like slaves at gunpoint, beaten, humiliated and forced to beg for their lives alongside being imprisoned underground. Then the tables appear to turn.  Read more

Posted on July 21, 2019

Styx and the ‘Monstrous-Migrant’

Dawn Keetley

Styx (2018) is a taut psychological drama from Austrian director Wolfgang Fischer that turns to horror near its end, offering something of a commentary on horror as it does so. Indeed, Styx is part of an emerging sub-genre of horror that I’m calling the ‘monstrous-migrant’, after Barbara Creed’s ‘monstrous-feminine’.

The film follows a German doctor, Rike (Susanne Wolff), who lives and works in Gibraltar. The first scenes of the film, which show her at work as a trauma physician, are almost entirely silent and dark and strongly suggest the deadening nature of her work. One morning, however, she packs her sailing boat the Asa Gray (named after US botanist and friend of Charles Darwin) with plentiful supplies and sets off to sail down the coast of Africa to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

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