The Beauty of Kitschy Horror in ‘Edward Scissorhands’
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On the 30th anniversary of Tim Burtons Edward with the scissor handsLet's celebrate the amazing genre of this film.

There is no doubt that the world is in Edward with the scissor hands is a little out of place and a little bit bizarre. Using a style called a BurtonesqueDirector Tim Burton creates a stylized, hyper-real world that feels only slightly outside of reality. With his pastel-colored houses, brightly colored clothes and the Avon lady knocking on the doors of lonely housewives, Burton captures the boredom that is "normal" through the underrated genre of kitsch.

Kitsch is a style that appeals to what is popular rather than “high art”. It's good and bad, like hamburger phones, clown art, or snow globes. While some films strive to feel more realistic and serious, kitsch strives to have fun with the absurdity found in reality.

think of David Lynchs Blue Velvet, Pee-Wee's great adventure, or pretty much any movie by John Waters.

Andrew Benjamin and Charles Rice Define kitsch as something that "provides instant intellectual satisfaction without intellectual effort".

It sounds harsh, but they are basically saying that anything kitsch is pretty to look at, but the meaning is close to the surface. While kitsch is an instant beauty with elements of irony, its surface meaning is not empty. It's a childhood memory wrapped in ironic beauty shots that evoke deeper emotions that are difficult to put into words.


& # 39; Edward Scissorhands & # 39;Recognition: 20th Century Fox

But Burton did it. Edward with the scissor hands is a complex story that reflects how Burton's childhood grew up in Burbank, California, in the 1960s.

The film expands its criticism of conformity ideas with a framework that lacks passion for everything. It is a quiet system of suppression that eschews everything unique. We spend the beginning of the film sitting and talking in the antiquity of the pastel colored, simply sunny suburbs, exaggerated to contrast the dark fantasy world Edward lives in.

Edward (Johnny Depp) brings this dark contrast into the world. He contrasts the other characters in the film harshly with his black leather outfit, pale skin and … well … scissorhands. In the suburbs he stands out like a sore thumb, not only because of his looks, but also because of his passion for art and life. When he tries to bring that passion into other people's lives, they use it for their convenience and nothing else. Everyone tells Edward that they know someone who could fix his hands, but they never try to help Edward or accept who he is.

Burton uses elements of horror to instill fear and fear in the audience. Although the film is essentially very bright and cheerful, Burton understands that audiences fear the unknown.

When Peg (Dianna Wiest) turns her mirror to look at the Gothic-style castle that overlooks the entire city, we fear for her safety and want her to drive away because something horrible must live up there. Even after seeing all the beautiful expressionist garden sculptures outside, we are still scared when the artist comes out of the shadows with scars on his face and scissorhands.

& # 39; Edward Scissorhands & # 39;
Johnny Depp as Edward in "Edward Scissorhands"Recognition: 20th Century Fox

We're so scared of the unknown that we try to stay away from it, and Burton throws this right in our faces. We strive to accept everything that is outside of our norms because we don't know how the situation will play out. Nobody really allows Edward to enter their society for being a "monster", although he keeps proving that he wants to be part of a community. Although the suburban neighbors give him a chance, no one really accepts that he's not a monster. The kitsch horror of it all is that Edward's life in the suburbs is romanticized, while the sense of impending doom lurks around the corner every time he raises his blade.

Similar to fairy tales, kitsch horror is a genre that teaches audiences. in the Edward with the scissor handswe can see the flaws in our own society because of those outside the realm of "normal". Another kitsch horror movie that does something similar with a different lesson is Gremlins. In Gremlins, the audience learns that you must take responsibility for something – a pet, a child, or a mogwai – seriously.

When it comes to the driving force behind storytelling, kitsch horror focuses on the life lesson.

& # 39; Edward Scissorhands & # 39;
& # 39; Edward Scissorhands & # 39;Recognition: 20th Century Fox

As an audience, we feel empathized with characters who experience something relatable. Just because we don't have scissors for our hands, we understand the emotional turmoil Edward is experiencing because we have probably felt this way at some point in our lives, we just haven't had a word for it until now.

Kitsch horror is exaggerated, bellicose, and just so far removed from realism that it pulls a strand of the heart that slumbered somewhere deep in the darkest corners of your childhood. This is why Edward Scissorhands can warm your heart and stop it at the same time.

Let us know your thoughts on kitsch horror in the comments!

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