By Kai Scheider
I watched Saw II in parts and I particularly remember this one scene where a woman has to climb in and crawl around in a huge deep container full of medical syringes to find a key. I think it was glass syringes. That was simply too much for me to watch and I had to look away because I found it horrible and uncomfortable. There was also a guy in the scene. He threatened her with a gun and forced her to get in, and I think this was where I turned off the TV. Well, I saw how she began searching: She hesitates and then enters with her feet first. She’s crying and breathes heavily, but also shows anger because she’s forced by this asshole of a guy. She digs into the syringes with her bare hands. That was simply, well, simply too much for me. She finds the key, throws it and crawls out of the container, completely exhausted and stays lying on the floor. I very rarely turn off the TV. I always watch a film to the end even if it is bad. But this was simply…special. If I remember correctly, it took place in a factory and they had to search for different keys to free themselves from this space where they were imprisoned. They were somehow forced to overcome different obstacles, where they either died or had to do something really uncomfortable to find the key that would get them to the next room. Everyone was against each other, but was yet forced to work together, even though basically each man was for himself. You wouldn’t know who was a friend and who was an enemy. The film plays with this basic fear of uncertainty in a dangerous situation. I want to play the woman because I identified with her suffering, and I found her reaction to the situation realistic. I think that when it comes down to it, there are much fewer heroes than we think.
Statements on violence
…What I want from a film is goose bumps and excitement.
How would you describe this moment, these goosebumps, is this for you like a “Rollercoaster Ride”?
A good movie offers this. Well normally fear is an uncomfortable feeling, but if I watch a horror movie, then I use it. It is very hard to describe…but for me it feels in that moment then simply just as a pleasant fear with an adrenaline payout as a bonus… I have to say, that I’m a narcoleptic, do you know what that is?
Yes. It means you fall uncontrollably to sleep.
And with many films, if there’s not something happening all the time, then I always fall asleep watching it. So for me a really good horror movie is actually when I continuously stay awake during the whole movie. So really a negative feeling that I use positively or perceive as positive. I have nightmares almost every night, it’s a symptom of narcolepsy and they are just very bizarre and I also sometimes think that if they were filmatized, that would for me be movies that I could not watch. So really a negative feeling that I use positively or perceive as positive.
I can’t identify with the perpetrator.
Well because he is a total egoist. And all the others can just die. And I am not like that. I rather feel like the one being forced. I’d rather be her I think.
Can you say a bit more about why do you think an undefined perpetrator is creepy?
The undefined enemy.
The undefined enemy, yes. Why is that scarier than when you know who the perpetrator is?
Well, I guess because they manipulate with such basic fears, like the uncertainty in an emergency situation, when you don’t know, whom you can trust and who not.
Compared to reality is that realistic to you?
Yes, I think there are people like that. I developed a mistrust from many situations where I was really surprised what kind of people would betray you. Who then suddenly act in a completely different way. I think that really makes a difference when a film speaks to many of your own fears, accumulated from childhood or in the course of life. Then a film, I think, has a very very strong impact. I think if you can draw many references to reality, then … When something occurs in a movie, that I am afraid of, it makes it the more interesting for me. That is for me the only attraction. If not much happens in the movie that I fear, then the real purpose of the movie is no longer there. But especially for me, I have to expect that when I look at movies like this that in turn affects on my negative dreams in that it’s imprinted. And that in such a very bizarre way, that I do not have words to describe it just because it’s very abstract. How a dream feels everyone knows, it’s very realistic and that is for me just in an even stronger way. And when I then wake up, I’m still caught in a dream several hours and almost can’t get out of it again. And well, actually I should not watch such films, but well it’s just the stimulus, … I’ve already read a lot about it, what actually happens in us of chemical processes…
Do you think it is real fear? Oh sorry I interrupted you, so you read about it?
Yes, I’ve already concerned myself on this topic for a while, because narcolepsia comes from the brain and that’s why I read a lot about dreams.
And what happens in our brains when we watch horror or violence movies? Is it a real fear or a fictional fear?
No I think you can’t say that. It is another form of fear. There is a form of fear that you can also enjoy but then there is also real fear, that one does not feel as pleasant. So these movies translate real fear to a fear you can enjoy. Yes you can enjoy that fear and normally when you feel real fear a sort of protective shield comes down and you don’t experience, in that moment you are just fear and in survival mode, maybe even outside of your own body or outside of the violent act itself. I real life you arrive at a point where your brain disconnects, like in a shock. When you have a shock the body disconnects to cope with it, but in a movie that moment is satisfyingly exactly prolonged.
How is violence in Germany? Has it become better or worse?
I assume that the public physical violence will enhance. You already notice that more and more people loose a certain sense of human life. Someone is killed with a mobile phone or such things. And that will increase even more with this two-class-society – few are getting richer and it is drastically becoming more visible. And the others no longer know how to cope. I do not feel this obvious violence as violent as this indirect like the state. for example, Exerted with such a sense of self-glory, so hidden and then getting these double standards and for a few years now with terrorism, how that so deliberately stoked fear, once again leading that campaign are the Americans, they’re the best at that game and we always like to copy the Americans. Maybe with this power exercised by the state it’s that one feels a certain powerlessness. Now, if someone attacks me personally, I can still defend myself. It has something vicious, this violence emanating from the state. Spreading false information, and you look at the banks and the finance wars and they always present themselves as the great humanists.