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Justine Smith

Hopeful Dysfunction: The Families of M. Night Shyamalan, Attack the Block, Heavy Metal, And More
The Bite #153

Hopeful Dysfunction: The Families of M. Night Shyamalan, Attack the Block, Heavy Metal, And More

Family is central to the films and horror of M. Night Shyamalan. Often told from a child’s perspective, his films can be understood as fairy tales where innocence is lost and regained. In a media culture steeped in irony and cynicism, Shyamalan maintains an unpopular earnestness even in his exploration of dysfunctional family units. He sees hope in people’s ability to change and grow. Often the horror of his work emerges when communities fail to heal and move on, where festering pain and increasing ignorance fill the gaps where love ought to be.