‘Horror’ with a realistic twist: The villain is something that hurts us all

I read a headline this morning with some interest.. CNN put a story about a new ‘horror’ movie, with horror in quotes, on their main page. The entire article was political in nature, though.. the meat of the subject, a few paragraphs in, got to the movie they were speaking of.. FROM CNN:

For a primer on what this looks like on the ground, politicians should see the powerful new film, “99 Homes”, directed by Ramin Bahrani. The film, which stars Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern and Noah Lomax, follows the traumatic experience of a family when the bank forecloses on their modest house. Dennis Nash (played by Garfield) is a construction worker and single father who is having trouble finding a job and unable to make mortgage payments.

No sooner does the bank foreclose than a ruthless real estate broker named Rick appears at the door to inform Dennis’ family that they need to get out. Dennis, his widowed mother (Dern) and son leave their home, and all their possessions are thrown on the curb like trash. It happens that quickly. In this film, the monster in this horror is the economy itself. “I didn’t kick you out, the bank did,” Rick explains.

The movie winds through the maelstrom that results from the foreclosure. The father ends up going to work for Rick, making a deal with the devil. “America does not bail out the losers,” Rick explains. The story gets darker as Dennis, desperate for money, finds himself in league with the businessman who ruthlessly uprooted his family.

99-Homes-new-posterNo blood, no gore. No monsters on Maple Street. Instead the villain that haunts us to our core: The economy. The chance that our lives, if calm today, won’t be tomorrow.. that jobs will dry up and robots will take whatever services are left to perform.

This is the modern day horror that few want to talk about it.. Julian Zelizer makes an amazing point by using the movie description in the light of a horror flick.

In the end, it really is, in a way.


There was a certain genius in the film IT FOLLOWS that somewhat correlates to 99 HOMES.  The most amazing pieces of cinematography in that film were images of Detroit, broken and barren, coupled with the haunting music that played loudly in the background. What was following? Sure, a monster who is exchanged with sex. But what could have been following the youths easily was a troubled economic future where they would be jobless and soulless.

Now.. to make it into a “REAL” horror, 99 HOMES would need Eli Roth. Picture a bank foreclosure and when the show up to put a sign on the door, they are zombies. Unless they really already are…?


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