In 1967 there was a top-notch thriller titled Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman threatened by a killer. She ends up using her blindness to her advantage, and after several close calls, manages to kill him. There was another similar films in 1971, See No Evil, where Mia Farrow was a blind woman who is unaware that she is sharing a house with three murdered people. This is extremely creepy, as we see the horror that she can’t see. But I liked it a little less because she had to be saved by her boyfriend showing up at the last minute. I was hoping this movie would do for a deaf heroine what those two films did for blind women.
I got part of what I wanted. It’s a well-done thriller, done on a small budget with only four actors. Maddie (Kate Siegel) lives in a house in the country where she is attempting to write her second novel. One night we see her best friend pounding on the glass sliding door, bloody, with an arrow through her shoulder. It’s happening right behind her, but of course she hears nothing. A psychotic killer (John Gallagher, Jr.) shows up and repeatedly stabs her until she dies. He spots Maddie inside, and figures out she is deaf. And he decides it would be fun to play a game of cat and mouse with her before he rapes and kills her.
It all depends, of course, on his desire to play deadly games. At any time he can enter the house simply by smashing a window, of which there are many. I can accept that (who knows what goes in on a monster’s brain?), but there are other things I can’t swallow. For instance, at one point she injures him pretty badly. He would have to be not only insane, but stupid, to continue with the game at that point. But he does.
You know what I’d like to see? A movie with the same sort of set-up, but in which at around the halfway point she starts turning the tables on him. In the movies it always takes a woman in peril a damn long time to realize that she can’t escape and that she must kill her would-be killer. I would think that, having seen the mutilated corpse of her best friend, Maddie wouldn’t have a lot of trouble with this idea.
Is it just the lot of women in peril to think of nothing but escape, when there are plenty of options open to her? I don’t think so, I don’t want to think so. I would like to see her start deadly thinking way earlier than they ever seem to do. In story terms, we would still get tons of tension, but wouldn’t you enjoy seeing her taking the fight to him, and enjoying it? Like Sigourney Weaver: “Die, you bitch!”
The advantage a woman would have in a situation like this is that the fight would be happening on her home field, so to speak. She would know where everything is. One thing she eventually uses is a can of wasp and hornet killer. I’ve used those things, and they put out a stream twenty feet long, so you can attack from a distance. Putting a pan of bleach on the stove and heating it would be a good idea, too. There are a thousand things a resourceful woman (man, too) could use just lying around the house, even if you don’t have a gun. It could be a sort of Home Alone, but with adults and real blood.