Over the years in movies, like Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddy Mercury, filmmakers have used the idea of an alternate reality, a variation of a real place, but turned by 180 degrees, to tell their stories.
For example, in this weekend’s Silent Hill: Revelation 3D a teenager, (Adelaide Clemens), stumbles into her town’s dark side when she crosses over into an alternate reality — the ultimate bad side of the tracks. It’s a hellish, but vaguely familiar place where she finally comes to understand the nightmares that have tormented her since childhood.
One of the most famous filmic alternate realities appears in It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who is shown what would have happened to the town of Bedford Falls had he never been born. In that world, the idyllic small town turned into a tough, unfriendly place called Pottersville, where George’s friend Violet is a stripper, his uncle is in an insane asylum and his wife is a spinster. “Strange, isn’t it?,” says his
Guardian angel Clarence. “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
Bill Murray learns about self-redemption via alternate realities in two films. In Scrooged, he’s a cutthroat television executive taken to the past, future and alternate present by three spirits who teach him about the spirit of Christmas. After his strange journey, he says, “I was a schmuck, and now I’m not a schmuck!” Redemption.
Groundhog Day has Murray as a grumpy weatherman sent to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to report on whether or not the weather predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. He hates the gig until the day he wakes up and realizes he is doomed to live the same day over and over again. His trip to the alternate reality teaches him to make the most of everyday.
Finally, the alternate reality in Being John Malkovich was a more confined place. Craig, played by John Cusack, finds a portal that leads into John Malkovich’s brain, where, he says, “You see the world through John Malkovich’s eyes. Then, after about 15 minutes, you’re spit out into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike!”
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