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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Blu-Ray commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
Notes left: 1684
Last seen at: Houston, Tx.
I just saw the DVD commentary from the director, and wanted to post a few interesting points.

-Gans and Radha Mitchell did not get along. Originally, Radha had refused to take part in Silent Hill, but she later changed her mind due to her most recent film being a flop. This made Gans feel that she wasn't as interested in the movie as she should be.

- Problems cropped up with filming scenes of Radha and Laurie Holden together, due to their different acting styles. Laurie was constantly in character, but Radha needed several takes of each scene to get into character.

- The ending shot is meant to exhibit the melancholy in Chris's soul, as he remains stuck in one place, forever waiting for something that will never come.

- Radha tried to change one of Jodelle Ferland's lines, but Jodelle insisted it remain the same because of the line's Biblical reference.

- The scene of Chris calling the archive company replaced a previously filmed scene in which he goes to a library and looks for references to Silent Hill.

- Dark Alessa's appearance is not based in J Horror, but in ghosts seen in Italian horror movies.

- The scene where Rose sees Dark Alessa scribbling at her desk was meant to show that the darkness comes when Dark Alessa draws on paper. Gans called it "a massacre with crayons".

- Pyramid Head's attack on the door of the closet Rose and Cybil are hiding in is indeed meant to symbolically represent rape. Further, the Creepers pouring through the door represent sperm.

- Gans clears up the ending. saying that Alessa and Sharon "fused" and became one person.

- The hotel scenes were filmed in a real hotel, which was initially considered too dangerous to work in. To get around that, a special glue was applied to the floor to keep the dust from being kicked up into the air, because the dust contained dangerous spores. Because it was an actual abandoned hotel, very few props were used. Most of the set are things that were already in the hotel.

- Gans comments on the relationship between Alessa, Sharon, and Dark Alessa. He specifically states that Dark Alessa is Alessa's dark side and Sharon is her good side. He goes on to say that people who think Dark Alessa is the devil are forcing a Judeo Christian interpretation that she was never supposed to have.

- Alessa's torture scene was supposed to be much grislier, but Gans felt it best to leave things to the imagination, and cut it down substantially.

- Gans says that the pain from her burning transformed Alessa into a "superior being", who uses her powers to punish the people who hurt her.

- Laurie Holden had to go to the hospital while they were filming the fight scene with the cultists due to a severe hand injury inflicted when she punched one of the cultists.

- The church scenes all had to be filmed in a day and a half, so Gans filmed in wide screen to save time.

- Gans hated the scenes with Chris and Gucci. He did everything he could to get the studio to say the film was too long and to cut the scenes out, but they refused. He felt the scenes were useless, and not worth the time onscreen. The only exception was the scene where Chris and Rose meet in different realities in the schoolyard, but he stated that it wasn't worth it to have one good scene, if it meant clogging up the movie with a bunch of boring filler.

- The scene of Alessa ducking as the car passes through her was removed from the final film because Gans was afraid too many people would reach the conclusion that she was a ghost.

- The ashes in the Fog World represent ashes from Hell falling into Purgatory.

- The transformation of the town when the darkness falls is meant to represent a child holding a lighter to a wax doll. Gans says that the "melting" represents Alessa playing with the town as a cruel child plays with a doll.

- The scene of the cultists praying, which then converts into the children praying at the orphanage, was meant to represent Gans's view of "bad" religion versus "good" religion.


Last edited by JKristine35 on 30 Sep 2013, edited 1 time in total.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
I just saw the DVD commentary from the director, and wanted to post a few interesting points.

Is it a new commentary on the BD or the one included in the DVD Box-set. Either the Japanese Box-Set had a different commentary or this was a track I didn't watch. Shame on me.

Quote:
- Dark Alessa's appearance is not based in J Horror, but in ghosts seen in Italian horror movies.

Considering that SH is from Japan I would like to argue with him on that :P
But yes, I know where he's coming from, though the way he put it he is technically wrong or it's at least debatable.

Quote:
The scene where Rose sees Dark Alessa scribbling at her desk was meant to show that the darkness comes when Dark Alessa draws on paper. Gans called it "a massacre with crayons".

That's actually something that made more sense in the original script, where such scenes could be seen. The way he put it in the final movie doesn't really lend to this interpretation very strongly, though of course it is valid. At least that would verify that in the director's eye, Dark Alessa had power over the darkness and how it comes.
This is interesting, but would also make some plotpoints questionable.

Quote:
Pyramid Head's attack on the door of the closet Rose and Cybil are hiding in is indeed meant to symbolically represent rape. Further, the Creepers pouring through the door represent sperm.

What? Why? Male violence? Fear of men? Is he actually supposed to represent the janitor further than the janitor-monster itself? Was Alessa raped by more men than Collin?
Yes, considering the original meaning that the character Pyramid Head held was rape, but in the films context this sexualisation seems sorta out of place.

Quote:
- Gans clears up the ending. saying that Alessa and Sharon "fused" and became one person.

I'm really anxious to see how this will play out in Revelations. I just hope it doesn't lead to a "convenient amnesia" moment that serves no further purpose than to justify the plot. Yes SH2 had this kind of, but there it is at least justified in the plot why the character would erase his memory.

Quote:
He goes on to say that people who think Dark Alessa is the devil are forcing a Judeo Christian interpretation that she was never supposed to have.

- Gans says that the pain from her burning transformed Alessa into a "superior being", who uses her powers to punish the people who hurt her.

- The ashes in the Fog World represent ashes from Hell falling into Purgatory.

- The transformation of the town when the darkness falls is meant to represent a child holding a lighter to a wax doll. Gans says that the "melting" represents Alessa playing with the town as a cruel child plays with a doll.

I know what he is trying to get across when he says that we are limiting our understanding of Dark Alessa if we simply see her as a or the Judeo-Christian Devil, but he used a fair share of metaphors pointing in a very similar direction, like the once in the other quotes.

A superior being, playing with the town (thus having power over it) that represents Purgatory and Hell, punishing the people who sinned against her. Of course she is not the Devil, but his argument is weakened when his metaphors point to her possessing equal qualities.


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My Bestsellers Clerk
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Wow! Very awesome and interesting. Especially the tidbit about the wax doll. A very deep film, if I must say so myself, sadly I don't think Revelations will be as deep or thoughtful as Gans did the first one :|


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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chounokoe wrote:
Is it a new commentary on the BD or the one included in the DVD Box-set. Either the Japanese Box-Set had a different commentary or this was a track I didn't watch. Shame on me.

It's from the French Metropolitan version of the DVD.
chounokoe wrote:
Considering that SH is from Japan I would like to argue with him on that :P
But yes, I know where he's coming from, though the way he put it he is technically wrong or it's at least debatable.

Dark Alessa isn't in the game. She is a creation entirely of Gans, who made her appearance based on the look of Italian horror ghosts.
chounokoe wrote:
That's actually something that made more sense in the original script, where such scenes could be seen. The way he put it in the final movie doesn't really lend to this interpretation very strongly, though of course it is valid. At least that would verify that in the director's eye, Dark Alessa had power over the darkness and how it comes.
This is interesting, but would also make some plotpoints questionable.

Not really.

chounokoe wrote:
What? Why? Male violence? Fear of men? Is he actually supposed to represent the janitor further than the janitor-monster itself? Was Alessa raped by more men than Collin?
Yes, considering the original meaning that the character Pyramid Head held was rape, but in the films context this sexualisation seems sorta out of place.

He was in the same building as the one Alessa was raped in, and he's a strongly masculine figure that comes from the mind of a child who was sexually assaulted. It makes perfect sense for it to symbolize rape.
chounokoe wrote:
I know what he is trying to get across when he says that we are limiting our understanding of Dark Alessa if we simply see her as a or the Judeo-Christian Devil, but he used a fair share of metaphors pointing in a very similar direction, like the once in the other quotes.

A superior being, playing with the town (thus having power over it) that represents Purgatory and Hell, punishing the people who sinned against her. Of course she is not the Devil, but his argument is weakened when his metaphors point to her possessing equal qualities.

It's symbolism, and there's no rule that the symbolism must mean the same thing as the literal storyline. The film has two layers, a symbolic one and a literal one, one does not affect the other.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
Dark Alessa isn't in the game. She is a creation entirely of Gans, who made her appearance based on the look of Italian horror ghosts.

I'd still argue on that one since the hair is the only thing that was actually that much different about Dark Alessa and Alessa's visual appearance in the game.
I'd also like to know which "Italian horror ghosts" he's talking about, because I'm trying to think of an example. Did he give one? Or at least a director?

Quote:
He was in the same building as the one Alessa was raped in, and he's a strongly masculine figure that comes from the mind of a child who was sexually assaulted. It makes perfect sense for it to symbolize rape.

But he appeared again very much removed from the school and as I said, there is the Collin monster already, so why create another monster symbolizing that which is associated with another monster (while said monster is simply cast aside).
And I'm not saying that it does not make sense for there to be monster symbolizing rape and sexual assault, it is just the (admittedly very old) argument that this reason to have PH in the movie is weakened by already having a monster in association to rape that is cast aside in favor of a cameo-appearance.

Further questions include:
Why is it threatening her chosen mother with rape?
Isn't it supposed to be Alessa's executor? So why is it symbolizing one of the things she dreaded most and not something that her enemies would dread most?

Quote:
It's symbolism, and there's no rule that the symbolism must mean the same thing as the literal storyline. The film has two layers, a symbolic one and a literal one, one does not affect the other.

No, that's why I said that I understand where he is coming from and I don't have a problem with the separation of symbolic meaning and plot meaning.
What I wanted to say is that, while I agree that calling Dark Alessa a devil is enforcing a Judeo-Christian point of view, it is nothing you can blame the audience for when you associate so many symbols connected to the religious field to her. Many of the viewers in the Western hemisphere come from a Judeo-Christian background or are at least influenced by said culture. If you intend the audience to reach an unorthodox conclusion you have to work for that.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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chounokoe wrote:
I'd still argue on that one since the hair is the only thing that was actually that much different about Dark Alessa and Alessa's visual appearance in the game.
I'd also like to know which "Italian horror ghosts" he's talking about, because I'm trying to think of an example. Did he give one? Or at least a director?

He mentioned Kill Baby Kill specifically. Also, he's the one who thought up her character, who are you to claim he doesn't know where he got his own ideas from?

chounokoe wrote:
But he appeared again very much removed from the school and as I said, there is the Collin monster already, so why create another monster symbolizing that which is associated with another monster (while said monster is simply cast aside).
And I'm not saying that it does not make sense for there to be monster symbolizing rape and sexual assault, it is just the (admittedly very old) argument that this reason to have PH in the movie is weakened by already having a monster in association to rape that is cast aside in favor of a cameo-appearance.

All of Alessa's monsters are the same: they blindly attack anything, while oozing symbolism at the same time. They all come from the mind of an extremely disturbed child, it doesn't have to fit into a neat little box.

chounokoe wrote:
Further questions include:
Why is it threatening her chosen mother with rape?
Isn't it supposed to be Alessa's executor? So why is it symbolizing one of the things she dreaded most and not something that her enemies would dread most?

He attacks Rose and Cybil because Alessa lets him. She's testing Rose, trying to ascertain how far she'll go to save Sharon. He doesn't literally want to rape Rose, he's just doing what he was created to do.
All of Alessa's monsters symbolize something from her mind, there's no reason why he can't exhibit her fears just as much as the other monsters.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
He mentioned Kill Baby Kill specifically. Also, he's the one who thought up her character, who are you to claim he doesn't know where he got his own ideas from?

I think I formulated this a bit too vague. I'm not doubting what he based his character of Dark Alessa on, so where he might have gotten his idea from, I want to say that subconscious influences are very strong as well and I'd argue she is not solely based in Italian horror.
There couldn't be any better example than Mario Bava's 1966 film Kill, Baby, Kill (Operazione Paura). This movie became a decisive influence on Japanese horror iconography and visual aesthetics that most J-Horror can also be traced back to the style and methods of this movie. Italian Horror has been very important for J-Horror even until today. When you visually quote a Japanese horror medium today, it is quite likely that you are quoting Italian horror along with it.

It is also quite astonishing that he named Kill, Baby, Kill as an influence, because it holds far stronger similarities to his Silent Hill film than the imagery of the ghost girl. Actually I'd say the visual similarity between Melissa Graps and Dark Alessa is minimal at best:
[Reveal] Spoiler: picture
Image
They are kinda, sorta alike. But on a level that you could call any creepy spooky ghost child alike.

What is much stronger is the plot-based similarities:
A police officer is sent to a medieval village in the middle of nowhere, where strange deaths are recorded. There he finds that cultic rituals are conducted to ward of an evil spirit. He is also told that he should never go to a nearby estate, as the restless dead call it their home.
[Reveal] Spoiler: Kill, Baby, Kill
That spirit is the ghost of Melissa Graps, who at age 7 was trampled to death by the horses of drunken village people, leaving her mother, the baroness of said estate, bitter and broken. Now her insane mother is channeling the restless spirit to take revenge and draw the village people into a world between life and death from where they can never escape.

Especially the depiction of the Baroness Graps must have been an influence on how he wrote Dahlia Gillespie in his film.

Quote:
All of Alessa's monsters are the same: they blindly attack anything, while oozing symbolism at the same time. They all come from the mind of an extremely disturbed child, it doesn't have to fit into a neat little box.
[/quote]
I know where you are coming from and from one perspective I absolutely agree with you, but then again, why not use the Collin creature for that? If you have a monster depicting rape and the bugs depicting sperm, why the necessity to use PH and patch the rape imagery on him as well? Yes, he is capable of "cooler" imagery than the Collin creature.
My other points where more for arguments sake, but what I have to stick with is, if that is his purpose on the plot then I have to criticize it.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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chounokoe wrote:
I think I formulated this a bit too vague. I'm not doubting what he based his character of Dark Alessa on, so where he might have gotten his idea from, I want to say that subconscious influences are very strong as well and I'd argue she is not solely based in Italian horror.
There couldn't be any better example than Mario Bava's 1966 film Kill, Baby, Kill (Operazione Paura). This movie became a decisive influence on Japanese horror iconography and visual aesthetics that most J-Horror can also be traced back to the style and methods of this movie. Italian Horror has been very important for J-Horror even until today. When you visually quote a Japanese horror medium today, it is quite likely that you are quoting Italian horror along with it.

It is also quite astonishing that he named Kill, Baby, Kill as an influence, because it holds far stronger similarities to his Silent Hill film than the imagery of the ghost girl. Actually I'd say the visual similarity between Melissa Graps and Dark Alessa is minimal at best:
[Reveal] Spoiler: picture
Image
They are kinda, sorta alike. But on a level that you could call any creepy spooky ghost child alike.

What is much stronger is the plot-based similarities:
A police officer is sent to a medieval village in the middle of nowhere, where strange deaths are recorded. There he finds that cultic rituals are conducted to ward of an evil spirit. He is also told that he should never go to a nearby estate, as the restless dead call it their home.
[Reveal] Spoiler: Kill, Baby, Kill
That spirit is the ghost of Melissa Graps, who at age 7 was trampled to death by the horses of drunken village people, leaving her mother, the baroness of said estate, bitter and broken. Now her insane mother is channeling the restless spirit to take revenge and draw the village people into a world between life and death from where they can never escape.

Especially the depiction of the Baroness Graps must have been an influence on how he wrote Dahlia Gillespie in his film.

He said he based Dark Alessa from that, arguing about it is pointless.

chounokoe wrote:
I know where you are coming from and from one perspective I absolutely agree with you, but then again, why not use the Collin creature for that? If you have a monster depicting rape and the bugs depicting sperm, why the necessity to use PH and patch the rape imagery on him as well? Yes, he is capable of "cooler" imagery than the Collin creature.
My other points where more for arguments sake, but what I have to stick with is, if that is his purpose on the plot then I have to criticize it.

What rule says every monster must only represent one thing? Further, what rule says that every concept must be limited to one monster? Pyramid Head as a whole does *not* represent rape, it's that one action that symbolizes it. And since it takes place in the school, it makes perfect sense.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
He said he based Dark Alessa from that, arguing about it is pointless.

Now come on, isn't it the tiniest bit interesting to you to scratch a little on the surface? Silent Hill won't break if you consider a little critical thinking.
Movie makers can say many things and they can be very right with it, but that's no reason not to look at it from several perspectives. And naming a movie like that to be an influence is perfect material to discuss.

Quote:
What rule says every monster must only represent one thing? Further, what rule says that every concept must be limited to one monster? Pyramid Head as a whole does *not* represent rape, it's that one action that symbolizes it. And since it takes place in the school, it makes perfect sense.

There is no rule for the first at all, but it should be made clear in the text as well.
If you put a certain meaning to certain plot-objects (PH=rapist, sword=phallus, bugs=sperm, ripped open door=vagina) then you assign it to that object. It's as if Shakespeare had switched between Prospero being a metaphor for his writing process in one scene and a critique for 13th century politicians in the next, without a hint of change taking place.

There's also no rule regarding the second, but the problem I have is that the one monster was severely underused and considering this comment from Gans it seems that the reason for this was, that Pyramid Head had to be in the movie. It's as if you had seen a dead Abstract Daddy in the room where you meet Angela the second time, but finally it had been Pyramid Head who raped her. Or if Valtiel had his appearances in the background, but finally it would have been PH to drag Claudia under and prepare God.
There is nothing inherently wrong with what he did, but it is unnecessary.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Apr 2004
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chounokoe wrote:
There is nothing inherently wrong with what he did, but it is unnecessary.

Agreed. Why PH? It makes no sense in the overall plot of things unless Gans is trying to say that Alessa is completely stuck on being molested and everything she does either consciously or subconsciously reflects that. But if this is not the case, then there is no reason for that at all. Use PH for something deeper. But when you do come to think about it - ALL of the monsters represent rape and/or sex in some way or another so possibly Alessa IS hung up on that more than being tortured and burned to death. Take a look -
1. Lying Figure/Armless creature - It looks like a penis in a condom then "sprays" like ejaculation.
2. The Janitor - A tortured molestor trying to "lick" Rose.
3. Pyramid Head - A strong forceful male monster with a giant phalic weapon "stabbing" things. Plus, he rips off Anna's clothes, grabs her breasts, and rips off her skin.
4. Creepers - According to Gans, they represent "sperm" attempting to get in the "womb" which is the room after PH sticks his phalic knife in the door. They try to chew, bite, lick, and eat their victims.
5. Nurses - Sexy body type women monsters. They move seductively and then punish each other by slashing one another! They are attracted to the phalic shaped flashlight and want and claw for it but ONLY when it is TURNED ON!
6. Grey Children - This one is a bit of a stretch, but they are victims because to Alessa, children are rape victims. They paw and claw at the adult because that is what they think they should do. But they are full of "firey" rage burning inside by being forced to touch things they don't want to!
7. Alessa Monster - She uses razor wire to viciously "rape" Christabella with the sharp wired tentacles! This one is pretty obvious...

But see what I mean? All of Alessa's creatures are based upon rape & sex either consciously or subconsciously. When you look at it this way, the entire movie is about Alessa coming to terms with what happened to her in the form of revenge and her creatures whom help her get her "satisfaction".

This could actually become its own topic discussion!!! Since this is a tangant based on the DVD commentary, if you wish to discuss this further I will start a new topic about this and the mods can add the posts from this topic that fit if they wish... or do whatever they think is best! ;)

_________________
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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
Notes left: 1684
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The Grey Children do not represent rape in any way, shape, or form. According to the director, they are Alessa's classmates, whom she killed and then turned into monsters so they would suffer as she did during the burning. A lot of what else you say is a stretch. The Armless Man is a pretty obvious reference to Alessa's inability to move or speak after being burned alive, which led her to build up a hatred so acidic that it bust forth from her. Neither the Creepers nor Pyramid Head entirely represent rape. The Creepers are symbolic of the way the cult attacks people (Gans confirmed this), and Pyramid Head is just Alessa's view of how scary she finds men to be. That one action represents rape, yes, but the creatures themselves don't. The only exception to this is the Janitor, who actually is the man who raped Alessa.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
The only exception to this is the Janitor, who actually is the man who raped Alessa.

Sadly, his representation is rather weak compared to the argument Gans put behind Pyramid Head's and the Creeper's scene. His only action is flicking his tongue at Rose and after that he is left by the wayside and forgotten.
If the rape actually played a part in the film's subtext, why cast that character aside?


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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The Janitor was never supposed to be part of the movie. He was thought up less than a day before the scene was shot.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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JKristine35 wrote:
The Janitor was never supposed to be part of the movie. He was thought up less than a day before the scene was shot.

Where did you get this information? Is it stated on the DVD commentary?

_________________
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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
The Janitor was never supposed to be part of the movie. He was thought up less than a day before the scene was shot.

Is that in the DVD commentary as well or do you have an interview in which this is said? And does it concern the whole character of the janitor or only his appearance as a monster in the other world. Because a total absence of the character would basically void PH of it's supposed meaning again.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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It's stated in both the behind the scenes and the commentary. It may actually be in a couple of interviews as well. Even the production notes on the official site mention it, saying
Quote:
The character of the Janitor was added during production
Originally, Rose was just supposed to find an empty stall, but Gans changed his mind about that shortly before shooting.


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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

Missing since: 05 Aug 2012
Notes left: 120
JKristine35 wrote:
It's stated in both the behind the scenes and the commentary. It may actually be in a couple of interviews as well. Even the production notes on the official site mention it, saying
Quote:
The character of the Janitor was added during production
Originally, Rose was just supposed to find an empty stall, but Gans changed his mind about that shortly before shooting.

But wouldn't that completely remove the plot of Alessa being molested if the character was actually added during production and nothing more?
Or was PH actually supposed to be the only personification of her rape? He and the janitor were both played by Roberto Campanella, so it's possible to imagine that the Collin creature was just thrown in at the last minute because it looked cool. If the whole janitor affair was created later though, then I suppose that scene about PH implying rape and the bugs being sperm was added later as well.

Either way, one of the things is unnecessary.


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Historical Society Historian
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chounokoe wrote:
But wouldn't that completely remove the plot of Alessa being molested if the character was actually added during production and nothing more?

Only if that information also applies to the flashback in which Colin is gazing upon Alessa. If that line is referring only to the Janitor monster, then the information is still there.

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Just Passing Through
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary

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Kenji wrote:
Only if that information also applies to the flashback in which Colin is gazing upon Alessa. If that line is referring only to the Janitor monster, then the information is still there.

Well, concerning that we know nothing more than that there was apparently no rape plot in previous versions of the script from 2004, but of course it's hard to guess when exactly it was added.


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Subway Guard
 Post subject: Re: DVD commentary
     
         
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Missing since: 12 May 2008
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The janitor plot was not added until production, but I still disagree with you. It works fine as it is, and I don't see how either monster is under-utilized, nor do I see any reason why two different scenes can't represent the same thing.


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