Dark and Twisty
Do you like your lesbians murderous and craaaaaaaaaazy? Then you and Hollywood have something in common. This season featured quite a few, duplicitous and homicidal lesbian/bisexual characters. The best of the bunch is Jamie Babbit’s Breaking the Girls, which was inspired by the great Patricia Highsmith’s, Strangers on a Train. It’s a tale as old as time. Two girls meet. Sexual tension mounts, followed by obsession and murder. Breaking the Girls, however, has some really terrific and surprising twists that help it from tumbling into super tropey territory.
Along similar lines is Kill for Me, starring Katie Cassidy (Amanda) and up and comer Tracy Spiradakos (Hayley). In the film, Amanda is torn up about the disappearance of her roommate and dear friend Natalie. When Hayley shows up, the two girls, who are drawn to one another, form a real bond after a violent incident. Sparks fly, but are unfortunately tampered by other, way more sinister issues. No one is whom he or she seems in this film, which is actually what keeps you engaged after things turn south.
Side Effects was a major feature film that used lesbian seduction as a means of control. Rooney Mara stars as a woman whose anti-depressant is apparently causing her to spiral into darkness…or is it? Catherine Zeta-Jones co-stars as her former psychiatrist (and much more).
The film Ashley is quite dark throughout, but does offer a glimpse of hope at the end. The movie centers on Ashley (America’s Next Time Model winner Nicole Fox), a high school senior whose home life is far from ideal. To deal with the upsetting realities of home and school, she self mutilates. Her world begins to change when she meets an older woman, and she comes to terms with her traumatic past.
In the new indie horror flick Contracted, the leading character Samantha is on the outs with her girlfriend and ends up at a party where she meets a strange man. He slips something in her drink, and later takes advantage of her altered state in his car. They have unprotected sex, which crosses into assault when Samantha repeatedly asks him to stop and he ignores her pleas. Horror films and sex have been hand-in-hand since the Seventies, when violence was often the consequence of (mostly female) desire. Contracted marries this long tradition with the fear of biological devastation that became a horror staple in the early 2000s, by inflicting Samantha with a series of horrendous bodily calamities, a casualty of this encounter.