Netflix’s ‘You’ Shows the Problem We Still Have Separating Romance From Emotional Abuse

Everyone thought it would be Bird Box’s crown, but actually Netflix’s first triumph of 2019 is the bingeable, creepy, Gossip-Girl-gone-wrong series, You.

Originally released on the Lifetime entertainment channel last September, You’s 10-episode series follows handsome Joe Goldberg as he meets Guinevere Beck by chance in the bookstore he manages, before pursuing her and eventually falling in love. It sounds like your average indie-movie meet cute, but this one comes with a twist. Told from Joe’s perspective, You is actually the story of a psychopathic, emotionally abusive, murderous (sorry, spoilers) stalker, who will stop at nothing to make Guinevere totally dependent on him.

The decision to narrate You mostly from the abuser’s perspective is clever — it invites the viewer into Joe’s mind from the beginning, showing us how he can rationalise his awful behaviour with inner monologues that sound increasingly like something you’d read on an incel subreddit or in 4chan’s darkest neckbeard corners. The result is part Gone Girl, part American Psycho, all horrifyingly disconcerting because of how easily it is to slip into Joe’s way of thinking and even to sympathise with him. Horror really takes on another layer when it makes you complicit with a killer, and that uncomfortable complicity is deliberate, according to author Caroline Kepnes, who wrote the novel on which You is based.

“We relate to [Joe’s thoughts] because we all get that way. We all feel like the world is against us. Unlike Joe, we don’t act on it,” the author told Refinery29 last year.

Read More – netflix’s ‘you’ shows the problem we still have separating romance from emotional abuse – i-d

When did you last see a man begging for his life in a horror movie?

Autumn: season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and the final girl, a lone female survivor triumphing over the masked killer who has butchered her friends. This isn’t a spoiler for the new Halloween film, because we all know that this final girl – the slasher movie archetype incarnated by Jamie Lee Curtis in her early horror roles and first identified by Carol J Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws – will survive. She is the last woman standing and always outlives the rest.

Unless, of course, the trope is being subverted. But the fact that it can be subverted emphasises how much the final girl is embedded in culture. Her behaviour and sexuality have been analysed, horror films have even been named after her (2015’s Final Girl), but there is one question no one seems to ask. Where are all the final boys?

Read More – When did you last see a man begging for his life in a horror movie? – The Guardian

Blog at

Up ↑