Nope ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Two things that are a little spoilery - not going to get into too much more

1) after checking wikipedia/reading a lot of reviews, I'm feeling sort of surrpised - I'm used to being kind of literal and optimistic with reads of movies, but I felt ah, the final 30 seconds or so had much more in common with Taxi Driver than I expected beforehand - or to be a little more blunt, are there other people who read the end of the film as OJ dying/might be dead? Just the way things were shot/framed, the symbolic bookending w/r/t to the original rider and changing the world, being a nobody, etc (I'd have to go back and have another look at the final shot and how the guy was framed on the horse to see how I felt about it)

2) There's an Algernon Blackwood horror story from the 19th century called 'The Wendigo' about a guy whose travelling partner gets carried away by a creature in the sky during an expedition to northern canada. It lures you in by calling your name and then pulls you away burning your feet as you go (leaving footprints further and further apart in the snow) and the main character, at one point, while he's trying to find his missing compatriot, hears him calling, far off, from beyond the clouds, that his feet are burning. Anyway, if you wanted to get all psychological about my enjoyment of horror stories, ghost stories, etc - there's a simplified version of the story for young people in the collection SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK that I read at a very young age and was......affected by. Just vivid, morbid, fantastical writing. Who knows why a specific story connects, but it really stuck with me, and lingered, with the unsettling idea that things could happen, that reality wasn't nearly as real as one expected.

Why do we read fiction, watch movies, engage with imaginary stories? Well, one reason is to chase that feeling, that sense of what if we get to look behind the curtain? That sense of....unreality, or being forced to consider the world in a fundamentally different way, of engaging with something imaginary that isn't real and treating it, despite your best intent, like it is real, isn't something that happens often, especially the more liberties a film takes with the laws of science or whatever, BUT

that sequence when OJ reaches Jupiter's Claim right after the show gone wrong to get Lucky, and finds it empty, with just the screams in the distance fading in and out as he's trying to figure out what's getting on, and we get Jean Jacket zipping from cloud to cloud in the sky above from OJ's POV is probably one of the closest a Scary Story, film or on paper or whatever, has come to replicating the experience of reading The Wendigo all those years ago.

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