The Willoughbys (2020)

Evil Hair

What used to be a side episode in larger stories has now grown to centre stage. In Cinderella, Snow White and such, we have a cruel stepmother. In recent films, we have dozens that mirror that and add inept father. But those use the bad situation of the child as background; the story we invest in is the foreground escape.

Now we have movies like ‘Lemony Snicket’ and ‘Sucker Punch’ that are essentially kid torture stories, using different modern notions of humour to colour things. So we forget that the primary arc is not about escape, but tolerance.

I admit to being captivated by the use of hair here. The evil mom is a narcissist, and the father a sexual obsessive. The one thing she does outside her body is knit, and there is some magical connection between her yarn and the hair of the men in the family. This is abstract and there is no overt sexual anchor, but combined with other indirect references we get the message.

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

IMDB

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