(c) International Business Times
I’m a big fan of horror movies but I can’t say I’ve been enjoying this new horror movie that stars the entire population of Britain and that’s been playing endlessly since last Thursday morning. What’s it called again? I Know What EU Did Last Summer? The Brexorcist? Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Gove?
Actually, these past days of epic-scale tragedy and farce, which have followed Britain’s decision in the referendum-vote of June 23rd to leave the European Union, put me in mind of several horror films. These are the films I’m reminded of and why.
(c) Daily Telegraph
(c) British Lion Films
When I see Nigel Farage and his supporters in those rural provinces of the UK that voted to quit the EU despite them being heavily dependent on EU subsidies, I think of The Wicker Man (1973). In this, a posh aristocrat convinces his simple-minded countryside followers that the bountifulness of their harvests and the richness of their coffers depends, not very logically, on them occasionally sacrificing a virgin. In Farage’s case, he persuaded them to sacrifice their EU membership. The film ends with the latest sacrifice, played by Edward Woodward, predicting that the next time the harvests fail and the coffers are empty, the countryside folk will be sticking the aristocrat himself into a wicker man and setting it alight. So if this analogy holds, things may end unhappily for Nigel (but happily for the rest of us).
(c) Warner Brothers / Transatlantic Pictures
When I see Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, I think of Alfred’s Hitchcock’s dark psychological thriller Rope (1948). This begins with two vain aesthetes, Brandon and Phillip, committing a murder to show their intellectual superiority. Then they spend the rest of the film unravelling through guilt at what they’ve done and fear of being found out. Since the referendum result, our very own Brandon and Philip have been looking increasingly sweaty and twitchy while, no doubt, the thought “Oh my God, what the f**k have we done?” grows ever shriller in their heads,
When I don’t see George Osbourne – he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth since the vote, despite the fact that he’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and despite the fact that the pound and markets generally have gone into freefall – I obviously think of The Invisible Man (1933).
(c) Universal Pictures
When I see the Labour Party currently tearing itself apart over the issue of the leadership, or non-leadership, of Jeremy Corbyn during the referendum campaign – the last time I’d checked, there’d been eleven resignations from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet – I think of the virus in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002) that instantly transforms its victims into red-eyed, slavering, vomiting, hyperactive and very bitey zombies. Though if the somnolent Corbyn himself got infected he’d probably just dribble a little bit onto his cardigan.
When I see Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and the only leader in the past few days to actually display qualities of leadership, I think of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (1986). From her base in Edinburgh, peering south towards the madness that’s engulfed Westminster, Sturgeon must feel like Weaver in her spaceship while it circles the space-colony planet where hideous and slimy things have happened. (Though ‘nuking them from orbit’ isn’t an option here.)
When I see close-ups of Michael Gove’s face, I think of the baby in David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977).
(c) Daily Telegraph
(c) Libra Films International
Whereas when I see Boris Johnson, I think of the midget blonde monsters spawned by Samantha Eggar in David Cronenberg’s The Brood (1980).
(c) Evening Standard
(c) New World Pictures
Mind you, that’s when I’m not thinking of the creepy kids in Village of the Damned (1960).
And when I see the whole sorry mess, with the triumphant leaders of the Brexit campaign now admitting that – duh! – they didn’t actually have a plan about what to do in the event of them winning, I think of the Final Destination series. In those movies, it’s never quite clear what the final destination is. But you have a pretty good idea that everyone involved is going to die horribly.