Monday, October 11, 2010

31 favorite monsters: Eraserhead's Baby

For those who haven't heard of it, David Lynch's Eraserhead is an artistic psychological horror film carefully constructed to feel uncomfortable and oppressive; droning sound effects, sparse dialog and long sequences in near total darkness all contribute to an experience not unlike a fever dream, and tying it all together in a perfect little package of disgust is the baby. Our unfortunate male protagonist is left all alone to care for his perpetually sickly child, and though it's only said to have been born "premature," the film portrays it as an utterly inhuman being, a puppet so grotesquely lifelike that it's incorrectly rumored to have been an actual animal fetus. Unable to do anything but sob and whine continuously, the tiny, harmless infant manages to be one of the most repulsive and maddening creatures in cinematic history. As far as the film's plot is concerned, it's just a human child, but to the viewers and its own tortured father, it's a monster through and through.

...Only slightly exaggerated from actual babies, really. Shudder.


Blogger Penanggalan said...

*Chortling at the last line* So true! And I'm amazed it took me as long as it did to finally watch this movie; easily one of the most inspiring and eerie films, mostly because of the baby.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous ScutigeraColeoptrata said...

I have only seen clips of this film, but I definitely can appreciate the artistry behind it. I think the baby looks like an immature E.T...which, actually, might make more sense.

10:56 AM  

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