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When the muse strikes, she strikes hard. 2011, year of Infinite Jest and Blaxploitation!

“Where every nightmare you have ever had comes true”.

The trailer itself is sort of a let down, I mean the main villain is shown and killed. Sloppy. After seeing the film, I thought the fun part was guessing if he was really the villain and why – which is actually never explained besides the fact that for some reason the antagonist has a blood feud against the family line ( being second best sucks, I know). All this despite the fact he served one of the members for at least two decades. Patient guy.

In my thesis, I make note of the fact that the cop and a university professor are interesting sidenotes – especially the doctor whom actually *spoiler alert* is related to the old woman Pauline Christophe, which makes for a funny scene in the film when Michael Evans says ” hey, man somebody must have got their y’s crossed because you ain’t the right color”, Janee Michelle smirks in a quick cut, to which Victor French replys: “Right color for what?” and Evans says “we are supposed to be related and you don’t look related to me”. Obviously, the scene is poignant considering the fact that they had just finished discussing the slave rebellion in Haiti and the fact their ancestor is Henri Christophe. That fact comes as a slap in the face since the only person left standing by the end of the film is Dr. Cunningham, and not only does in inherit the house and everything else: he becomes king of the legacy left by a former slave. His relationship with his cousin is not consummated, which actually happens too quickly for my taste considering the fact that their other cousin had just died. Next thing you know they are holding hands.

However, Cunningham’s “capacity for knowledge” plays into the rationality and irrationality duality assigned to white and black actors since the dawn of the film era, with whites of course signalling rationality or as Entman and Rojecki discuss in The Black Image in White Mind (xvii) regarding the association of Black identity with the supernatural and White identity is associated with the material world of intellect, power and success. To emphasize the point further, Miss Cristophe undergoes some form of astral projection. She is split into two spectral forms and then combined into one and under the influence of the voodoo bad guy, only to be saved  by Dr. Cunningham whom manages to control his grandmother through his knowledge voodoo lore and mythology, e.g. Erzulie. Michael Evans character seems to be lack any interest in his history and his supernatural disbelief is explained as ignorance since the voodoo priest/butler says “their ignorance was their destruction”. Funnily enough he wanted control of the bloodline through Miss Cristophe, whom I think actually is of mixed heritage when the spectral scene is analysed since both men desire her. Even her other cousin played by Michael Evans desires her yet he is lured by a false spectral image of her resulting in his death.

One huge question which I lack an answer to. Since when are  there mountains in Georgia? All of a sudden they are in Atlanta. One scene reminded me of St Louis though. However, according to IMDB, the day scene is shot in Atlanta:

Underground Atlanta – 50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
(Day Out sequence)

Funniest line: “Blood calls to blood, looks like somebody didn’t check out all the blood!”. Otherwise, I highly recommend the matte scenes . For some reason, the topography seems to be shot in California/Colorado (very unlikely considering the budget)(mountains) or at least the beginning scene, yet there is fog and darkness when both actors look at the mountain from a strange viewpoint. It was hard not to think of Castle Greyskull and Castlevania. I also loved the mirror scene and the numerous skull scenes, however I cannot understand why Harriet Johnson was the only one to see “hooded death”, both in the plane and in the car before she dies. A Final Destination kind of vibe going on there.

IMDB Trivia:
Xernona Clayton’s only film role.
Janee Michelle must see appearances:
In the Heat of the Night (TV series), Sanford and Son and Scream Blacula Scream.
Michael Evans – for us fans of The Jeffersons and Good Times. Classic stuff: “Let me tell you something about people. That bartender is willing to work for me because if you got enough green in your pocket black becomes his favorite color”. and “That ain’t nice talking that way to your little mamie here”.

If you watch this film, I highly recommend a song and a better film.

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