The Movie Club 2005
Thanks, Scott, for reminding me of the obvious. It was remiss of me not to point out that George A. Romero's Land of the Dead is the fourth part of the ultimate revenge-of-the-American-repressed horror series, and that the Sam Hamm/Joe Dante Homecoming pushes the conceit into even more wildly political territory. Land of the Dead came a little too close to being a John Carpenter movie for my taste, but its geographic layout—a mall/skyscraper/condo for the wealthy surrounded by (and barricaded against) an underclass manipulated to be forever at one another's throats … which in turn is separated from a countryside teeming with zombies (now into the process of forming social units)—is an example of the kinds of truths that outlandish genre movies can depict that naturalist movies can't. So here's hoping the horror genre moves away from dexterous artful exercises in sadism like Wolf Creek and The Devil's Rejects (sorry, David Poland, for cheekily lumping in Irreversible) to explore what really ails us.
David Edelstein isSlate's film critic. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott Foundas is film editor and a critic for LA Weekly. Jonathan Rosenbaum is the film critic for the Chicago Reader. A.O. Scott is a film critic for the New York Times.