There was a time when the majority of movies were seen through the male gaze. This was especially true of the grindhouse films that peaked during the 1970s. These films seem to revel in putting their female characters in dangerous and/or provocative situations. I Who Have No One is a short playing at the Chattanooga Film Festival. The film follows a woman who is caught up in an idealized sense of beauty. As things escalate, Frances becomes more accepting. But is that a good thing?
The first thing audiences will notice is the aesthetic. Everything from the music to the title cards scream midnight movie. Director Director Pierre Tsigaridis wears his influences on his sleeve. An additional benefit is the grittier look fits the themes being explored. I Who Have No One doubles down on this with some brutally violent death scenes. And yes, most of the victims are women.
There is a huge difference here, however. I Who Have No One is another movie that objectifies its female characters. That being said, it is not another horror movie that just uses women for titillation. This is done more as a statement. Women here are not mindless victims. Instead, they are a result of unrealistic expectations. It is a powerful statement wrapped in a gory horror film.
This is seen most clearly in Frances. She is obsessed with being beautiful. Her idea of beauty is what she has been taught via media. It has killed her self esteem and causes her to look at other females as measuring sticks instead of people. Good and evil exist in her world, but being pretty is more important. Her judging gaze is just as sinister as that of an aggressive creep.
I Who Have No One is a throwback horror movie. It is cruel and vicious and its body county is filled with female corpses. The story is much more than blood and guts, though. This is a movie that wants to figure out the whys of its killer and not just show the hows. The short looks at how violence against women can find root in many different places.
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