If you want to talk about disturbing books or movies, then We Need to Talk About Kevin is your bitch.
For serious. This is a terrifying and utterly disturbing double bill of horror and despair. But not in that, holy shit blood and guts, having sex with a baby way. More like...holy shit my son might one day grow up and have sex with a baby kind of way.
Now that we've got crass out of the way, let's start at the beginning.
I've been wanting to see We Need to Talk About Kevin for the better part of its inception. Tilda Swinton won acclaim as per usual in her whole as Eva Khatchadourian, the mother to sociopath Kevin. The story intrigued me as possibly the answer to that age old question of, "but what about the parents." What about them? Is it really a parent's fault if a child is a psychopath from the minute he exits the womb?
Before I saw the film however, I decided it was my civic duty to read the novel by Lionel Shriver first. For anyone on the fence about the movie (if there is someone out there on the fence about it) then I highly suggest you read this. The book completely sucked me in and had me in total shock and despair for the better part of the week that it took me to read this.
I suppose the entire book is like a bad car accident you can't look away from. While the movie did its fair share in painting Kevin as the villain--I sometimes felt like he didn't seem all that bad. The book however is the complete opposite. Kevin Khatchadourian is the anti-christ.
Even as a infant, the way he is described with his black lifeless eyes, how he pulls hair not out of curiosity but out of pure hatred just chills me to the bone. His evil shenanigans are amped to 9,000 degrees of scary. Like, tying his sister up and feeding her gross concoctions of food until she pukes, or dousing his sister's eye with liquid plumber resulting in her having to wear a glass eye for the rest of her life.
Perhaps most infuriating and terrifying however is how clueless Eva's husband is. It's the kind of anger that truly and honestly gets your blood boiling. Really though, what is scarier than having your son be a sociopath and having your husband not believe you?
I often bitch and moan about how it's been awhile since I've been truly shook to the core while watching a horror movie. While perhaps not a direct horror movie, We Need To Talk About Kevin both in film and novel version is still one of the most terrifying things I've voluntarily subjected myself to. I mean really, what was I thinking immediately watching this so soon after finishing one of the most heart wrenching novels I've ever read? Is that same morbid curiosity that drives us to peer into the eyes and brains of serial killers? That same grotesque longing to see actual carnage during a wreckage? And then the inevitable....I've seen too much now I'm going to faint side effect? Yes. Yes and Yes.
To top it all off, We Need To Talk About Kevin employs one of my favorite movie techniques of all time. RED. And it uses it in a way that is incredibly genius. The amount of actual blood in the film is actually quite low. Instead, our eyes are ravaged by this constant presence of the color red.
And not just you know.. red...but... RED! This is full on, Suspiria style, paint red, RED. The red, the color red in this is so violent that it practically makes you think you're watching the most violent film known to mankind. And you are in a way. Because the violence in We Need To Talk About Kevin isn't necessarily up in your face. It's more like it's inside of you, taking hold of your heart and soul and ripping it out of your mouth. This is not a joke and it's not used to entertain. This my friends----is the terrifying horror of reality.