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Wes Craven Presents: They (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: November 30, 2002
CAP Score: 40
CAP Influence Density: 1.37
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WES CRAVEN PRESENTS: THEY (PG-13) -- with a final score of 40, it is definitely an "R-13"
Production: Good Machine, Radar Pictures Inc.
Distribution: Dimension Films, Miramax Films
Director(s): Robert Harmon
Producer(s): Tony Blain, Tom Engelman, Ted Field, Barbara Kelly (IV), Scott Kroopf, David Linde, John Mariella
Written by/Screenplay: Brendan Hood
Cinematography/Camera: René Ohashi
Music: Elia Cmiral
Film Editing: Chris Peppe
Casting: Anya Colloff, Sean Cossey, Jennifer Fishman, Amy McIntyre Britt
Production Design: Douglas Higgins
Art Direction: Patrick Banister
Bogeymen! There's one! I think. Just beyond the beginning of total darkness! Just across the border of visible. Turn out the light and the edge of the unseen comes closer to you. And so do They! They can see you but you cannot see them except maybe when one dares to venture into the dim shadows to get under your bed. Or maybe when a flicker of light invades their space a glimpse of one of them just might be possible. Seething just beyond the light. In the closet. Under the bed. In the corners. The faint bubble of light from your nightstand will protect you only so long! Quickly they get hungry and bold. In the darkness they wait ... seething ... waiting ... waiting with single-minded fixation for the moment when you are in total darkness. Only an instant of total darkness will do. They can hear you but you cannot hear them except after midnight. Then you might hear a scamper or two as They go bump in the night. But sometimes... There!! Did you see that one? Just then! Over there! Julia Lund (Laura Regan) did.
The story opens with young Billy, a lad of about 8 years old, screaming to his mother They were going to get him. With all the assurances his mother could muster, Billy was still certain they were there and were going to get him. And he was right. Billy did all the things to protect himself, even one his mother said would protect him. That is to keep one's head covered. Under the covers with a flashlight that slowly grows dim, Billy's curiosity forces him to venture out from under the covers to peek over the edge of his bed. Snatch! They got him! And dragged him under his bed. Billy was right.
Julia's father committed suicide when she was Billy's age. For a long time, Julia suffered from night terrors evidently sparked by the trauma of her father's suicide. As an adult, Julia began the trek to become - what else - an abnormal psychologist. The trauma that fueled the night terrorists has long since been conquered, or so she thinks. Julia unknowingly shared her nighttime bogeymen terrors with a few other children who had also been victims of the night terrors as children. All of them had one thing in common.
Billy reenters Julia's life with questions about those night terrors that they had as children, wondering whether They were coming back, whether the bogeymen were coming back to get them. So deep were Billy's terrors that his every word was saturated in fear and anxiety. Words about how when They are coming the electricity flickers and other inexplicable things happen. Terrible things. Horrible things. Things so terrible and horrible that he could live this way ... BOOM. Billy sent a .38 caliber slug through his brain.
Further traumatized by a second suicide in her life, Julia seeks counsel from a cohort in abnormal psychology from her childhood. But these are real bogeymen. They are not chased away by rational thought and reasoning. They come and go as they please. Now they are back. And so say two more of Billy's friends. They share a common history of night terrors but they each bear a unique mark, an injury from some sort of impalement and each looks the same as the other. No one but a night terror victim has them. Each mark oozes and drips and never heals. Why do they never heal? So the bogeymen can identify their victims and come back to slither in more terror.
Helping Julia through it all is boyfriend paramedic Paul. A medic, huh? I can relate to that. But not in the way he relates to Julia. Sexually. Repeatedly. Not married. Sure he's a nice guy. But sexual immorality is sin whether a nice guy or not [Mark 7:21]. Whether you believe it or not. We don't write the rules. God does.
This is a "They Scream on Elm Street XXXVIII" flick. A standard bogeymen story with an assortment of the usual trappings plus some new trappings. "New" as in new to this genre added by the new age of sinema. Some sex and vulgarities plus foul language on a canvas of scare-ology [Ps. 12:8]. And with a final score of 40, it is definitely an "R-13"
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.|
|"There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|