Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Why do you want to live?

If you would learn just a little from me, you would not beg to live. I am rumor. It is a blessed condition, believe me. To be whispered about on street corners, to live in other people's dreams, but not to have to be.

Do you understand?

I think that quote is the reason I love Clive Barker's 1992 movie, The Candyman. That, and the Candyman's voice, of course. Man, that guy has a resonant, deep, throbbing voice. Shivers me every time.

But it's that explanation, that seduction....

Candyman is trying to seduce Helen into immortality with him. Time immemorial as living fiction, as solidified dream. To exist without being.

But he is also trying to seduce her to his side. No one wants to be immortal alone. He had his love in life, which damned him to his brutal, blood-soaked immortality. Now, he wants that love in death.

As he says, "It was always you, Helen."

He is not your average haunt. He is not your average monster. He is noble, desperately sad, heroic in his devotion to building his immortality on others' fears. When people forget him, he will truly be dead. Thus, he ensures that no one will ever forget him.

In a way, Freddy Krueger's dream-reign is based on the same idea -- that such monstrous power comes from belief, from imagination, from that well of primal fear that we so rarely have to face in the Real World and that so often freezes us when a truly terrifying situation does arise. It's fight or flight, the natural, animal response to dangerous stimuli, but skewed in perception because we can't tell if the danger is real or imagined.

Thus, the freeze. Thus, the death.

But Freddy, bless his wicked heart, was king of the slashing one-liners. Candyman...there lies honor and sophistication.

A much more terrifying horror. A much more fascinating legacy.

Oh, yeah. Also, bees. *nods to the Evil Editor*


At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many kids have stood terrified in front of a mirror on a dare to say it, "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman." -JTC

At 11:18 AM, Blogger GutterBall said...

Personally, I've never pushed my luck. I have no fear of death, but I really don't want it to hurt that bad.


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