Andrea Arnold Creates New Kind of Fear with Oscar-winning film Wasp

There are various opinions of a successful horror film: one that involves blood and gore, the quality of suspense, the fear of death, or one that is psychologically troublesome. But what about a story that in 25 minutes can capture a subject matter that not only thousands of people live through, but that millions of others turn a blind eye to ? The 2005 Oscar-winning short film Wasp, directed by Andrea Arnold, redefines the meaning of horror in a painfully disturbing plot about a day in the life of a low-moral and poor-ridden mother who neglects her children. Without obvious intention, Arnold invites us into the film almost acting as social workers by witnessing the horrific cases they must deal with on a regular basis.

The entire idea of neglect is not the most disturbing part of this short film in my eyes. It is the molded bread she prepares to feed her children, and the pacifier that she dips in sugar to give to her infant child (who at the same time is wearing a too small onesie and no diaper). It is the foul language she uses around her children, including within the argument and fight with another mother around her neighborhood. It is the fact she will put her daughters’ lives in danger just to soak in the attention from a childhood crush who has no intent in having their relationship surpass one night. There are an endless amount of things she does that make every inch of my skin crawl, that make me cringe in disgust. Yet, most of all, what is most horrific about this short film, is the insane amount of truth. Neglect is real. What we witnessed IS life for so many children. Watching this film forces us to consider that so many of us are privileged to never have to go through such a tragedy.

In short, I guess the most obvious feeling I got from film would be: I absolutely love my mom.

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