Elections are stressful at the best of times and, considering the last four years, this one is particularly fraught with anxiety. To help ease the tensions of election night, the AOAS Squad has collected a few ‘election night comfort’ films in case you simply want to crawl under the covers and escape for a few hours.
The Purge: Election Year (2016) is completely on the nose, but there’s something reassuring about the idea of Frank Grillo, Mykelti Williams, and Elizabeth Mitchell fighting off insurgents intent on undermining the democratic process.
The Purge films will never be accused of being subtle and yet, considering the reality, seeing violence inflicted on assholes who oppress poor people, women, and racialized minorities is incredibly cathartic. If we can’t always see it in real life, at least we can see the good guys win on screen.
For me, ‘comfort horror’ will always translate to Mike Flanagan. His genius in wedding the poignant to the terrifying aside, I’ve always found solace in the unabashed humanity in his work. It’s hard for me to settle on just one film for this piece, but since them’s the breaks, I’m going to have to go with Oculus (2013). It’s mystery, it’s melodrama, it’s downright chilling, and the cast is a veritable who’s who of geeky fandom (um, excuse me, Amy Pond AND Starbuck?).
With all of the horror going on outside, it can be nice to just focus on the things trying to kill you in your home, instead.
Most of my election night escapism will probably come by way of a massive bottle of CBD oil, but if there’s one extremely cathartic film about old white misogynist men getting what they deserve, it’s Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
The film moves at such a breakneck pace you won’t even have time to have an existential crisis about the collapse of democracy. Instead, revel in the frenetic visual effects, nonstop car chases, and a story about six women and two male allies with PTSD saving the world from fascism.
Comfort horror to me is re-watching something I’ve seen a million times. Luckily, the Scream franchise (1996, 1997, 2000, 2011) has enough films to get you through multiple hours of election night anxiety. All four films are so self-involved and indulgent that there’s something comforting about the doldrums of a run of the mill, dumbass, underachieving killer who thinks they can make it famous.
Also, the feminist undertones are good to keep those internal sparks simmering.