The Forest for the Trees

I watched a movie yesterday on NetFlix that I thought was truly terrible. It was called Into The Forest .

I had high expectations for this movie based on the description but very early on I found myself making my “WTF” face at the screeen and halfway through I started hitting the Fast Forward 10 seconds button over and over and over again. I read some reviews on the movie after and didn’t see any that echoed my sentiment, but I really didn’t look very hard, and I have been wondering if perhaps it just struck a bad cord with me.

Early on in the movie the Dad takes his two daughters Nell who must be, since she is relentlessly studying for her SAT’s like 17? 18? and his older daughter Ava into town. They stop at a closed gas station and a bunch of people on motorcycles surround them, of course, and one of them starts making lewd comments about the daughters in the car, of course. Dad says nothing to the motorcycle people which I understand, don’t antagonize the crazies, but also nothing to his daughters.

So the movie has immediately reinforced the idea that all men, as soon as there is a little disruption in society, will become sexual predators. Okay, now I know where we are going.

The father drops his girls off letting them know he’ll pick them up at 11. When he and Ava pick up Nell she is drunk on the beach dancing with some guy they’ve never met. Dad laughs, they all get in the car and sing songs.

Oh, on the way home they run across what is apparently two men raping someone in a car in the middle of the street. Gotcha, so we know right away at some point one of these girls is going to get raped.

I’m going to stop the scene descriptions right there in case you want to watch it and switch to an analysis of the iggy feeling it gave me, and see if we can figure out why.

In the past I have wondered aloud why when men are put in positions of absolute power sex is immediately the weapon and the reward, in real life. So then I started thinking about this movie and what it does to perpetuate this truth, and why maybe that is a bad thing. Maybe it’s time we stopped telling boys & men that when all hell breaks loose they should immediately go rape someone, preferably a young attractive girl, to be part of the status quo. And maybe we should stop telling girls that this is what all men are like.

What would change? Anything? Nothing? Does it not matter at all?

I don’t know. I probably won’t think too much less of you if you saw this movie and liked, but I might, If nothing else for the ridiculously long episodes of it trying to evoke emotion and sympathy.

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