A STORY FROM STILLS
“Abattoir”, also known as a slaughterhouse, is a short story of a shy and introverted girl who just transferred to a new school. Bordering on the line of fantasy and reality, she sees her new environment as frightening and disturbing. Revealing her psychological state of mind as she meets her new school mates, she sees them as haunting animal figures, whose abnormal actions scares and confuses her. While believing that the evil is purely out of her imagination, she is manipulated to conform to their ideals and become one of them.
The girl – Weak and afraid, who eventually fell prey to the stronger-minded. While the main character believes she is being accepted if she conforms to their way of life, she loses her identity.
The fox – Masking her true intentions behind inviting and kind act, she controls the weak mind of the main character to gain a lackey who follows her blindly. The fox has always been characterised as crafty and this quality is shown as she catches and fools her “prey”.
The dog – Symbol of blind loyalty. The main character foolishly becomes a loyal servant almost immediately after receiving a few acts of “kindness”.
The rabbit – conventionally known as silent and weak, the contradiction of power given to the rabbit allows the film to be slightly more creepy and haunting.
Overall Style & Themes
Genre – I decided to go with horror, using sound and imagery to convey the mental state of the main character. Purposely avoiding a happy ending, I appointed the fox as the main villain for this short story.
- You’re Next (2011) – American slasher horror movie
Use of animal masks – the lack of empathy and human nature in the murderers adds to the horror of the film
Use of still scenes – coupled with silence to build suspense.
- Jan Svankmajer’s animations – surrealist works “Alice” and “Meat love”
Use of stop motion – every action is captured with a natural flow
Use of sound – only the sounds of actions are heard against a background of no sound.
- The Cure for Wellness (2016) – A health and mental institution with a dark past and terrifying truth
Use of images of the place – beautiful yet hiding an ugly or distorted truth. There is something amiss in the perfect and beautiful place