Descent into Madness

One of the things we thought about was how the plot from our radio play is conveyed in our story- the idea of ‘is there, isn’t there’ something really causing all this- or is it in the protagonist’s head.

One example of this is in the Descent (2005). This film shows the character’s descent into an unexplored cave system, which almost inherently becomes a metaphorical descent into the unexplored recesses of her own mind. The film confronts the protagonist with the un explored parts of her psychology- parts of the mind she doesn’t want to look at.



The Birthday Cake- a common visual for Sarah as she remembers her dead daughter.

The Gasworks (1944) takes place following the of a murder of a famous Opera singer. The niece of the singer (Paula) interrupts the perpetrator before he can steal jewels he was searching for, in the singers room. Years later, Paula falls in love and unknowingly marries the murderer. He is convinced Paula has the jewels he attempted to take years ago- trying to take them by convincing her she is mad. He cuts her off from the outside world, causing her to see things, telling her things were missing and then finding them on her possession. I think this plot is actually pretty unique in it’s telling.

The missing watch scene- Gregory Anton convinced Paula that she had taken his watch. (YouTube, 2017).

The Shining (1980) is probably one of the most well known examples of this- the descent to madness shown through Jack and his family as they live/ work in the hotel. I found this analysis of the plot and arrangement of the film and found some really interesting things in it. The idea of playing the film overplayed – the backward and forward play- showing the connections in conversations between the characters and their role was very interesting.

The Shining film analysis (YouTube, 2016).

American Psycho (2000) is another of my top movie pics- simply due to the weird ending. It shows the progression of the breakdown of Patrick Bateman- killing off potential competition in work, killing sexual partners etc- at the beginning it seems to have a purpose, by the end it is random. His killing style and clean up also get worse- starting methodical, wearing plastic suits, furniture covered in plastic sheeting. By the end, he kills a prostitute by throwing a chainsaw down a flight of stairs.

The ending is very confusing- the who did it/ did it really happen. Theories include that Patrick was insane- all of the murders were in his head or that his lawyers covered it up.

The ending to American Psycho. (YouTube, 2016).

Fight Club (1999) is another film which questions this grip on reality. The whole idea of (spoilers) different personalities in one body- one operating while the other is asleep.

The reveal scene- spoilers. (YouTube, 2016).







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