January 16, 2011

The Pot: The Holy Ghost Isn't Supposed to Be Scary Or Is He?


Goodbye, Age of Anxiety. Hello, Period of Paranoia. As all serious discourse on subjects like art, pornography and spirituality-nee-religion is watered down to "I know what I like," "I know it when I see it," and "I know what I believe," assertions about being an artist, judging intent, or subscribing to any system of belief besides science are too scary for most people afraid of risking ridicule by stating an opinion outside the noncommittal norm. Organized religion has been especially hard hit with Christianity, in particular, constantly debunked as creepy mumbo-jumbo. Playing upon that spooked out view of spirituality, Kim Tae-gon's largely effective horror movie The Pot presents a deaconess (Kil Hae-yeon) and her evangelical church's congregation as Satanic ne'er-do-wells with duplicitous motives when it comes to helping a struggling businessman (Im Hyeong-gook), his pregnant wife (Yang Eun-yong) and their daughter (Ryu Hyeon-bin), a little devil herself who's got no truck with punching her mom's pregnant belly as a way to demonstrate that she, for one, has no interest in having a baby brother. That the Church ends up not being the bad guy in this movie comes as a shock later on. And frankly, a disappointment. Blaming the devil for bankruptcy, miscarriages, and badly behaved children is so much more interesting than faulting an unhinged man. Oh yeah, spoiler alert.

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