Originally Posted by EvilTwin
Sure, Marty gets a little bit of free will towards the end, but I don't think they really grapple with what that means. And, ultimately, I think Dana is meant to be the main character and the audience identification character which makes it somewhat dissatisfying when she ultimately doesn't make a decision.
Marty did not just get a "little bit of free will towards the end"; he had free will throughout the whole movie (well, maybe except that one funny scene where he had to take a walk in the dark). Not only that, he was the one who found out about the whole mystery of why they were being killed. He was the ultimate hero. Now whether you disliked/liked him for being a stoner and/or whether you rooted for/criticized him for for being a "nihilist," are the very reasons why this film was extremely effective. We were IN a horror movie and we were aware of every single possible ramifications of what could occur. Werewolf and Zombie Girls as deus ex machinas? Everything was fucked and there was a "reason" these Ancient Ones' creations had been set loose. The idea of being punished for your transgressions was palpable throughout the whole film: Dana read the book, so why should she "live" just because she was the "virgin"? Marty was the one who kept insisting to "not read the Latin." He warned everyone from the get-go, but no one would listen to him. And Dana also pressed the "system purge" button. Getting blindsided by the werewolf was her comeuppance.
There is a result for everything that you do. Case in point: the immensely satisfying payback for the workers below. Their transgressions over the years have been paid in full with some serious interest. Virgin girl who was pushed off a volcano can now rest in peace.
Here is an important point: Marty saves Dana with his bong at the lake. That one minor detail is being forgotten about this discussion about Marty being selfish. It appears that does not mean anything since the lives of innocent babies are at stake. Put yourself in Marty's shoes. You just saved someone's life and within a few moments, you see that same person is about to end your life.
Yes, it's one of those complicated catch-22 decisions. That's why Marty said, "Gosh, they are both so enticing." So this film would really challenge folks' ideas and morality. It challenges you to think who is more important to save: Marty or billions of innocent lives? But let us tinker around with the question: who is more important to kill: Marty (and a few innocent victims every year) or billions of innocent lives? Either way, you will choose to kill someone. Choosing either one is wrong. Plain and simple.
Why? (I really don't have to explain this, but I will only do it to explain my point of view.)
Killing Marty will save billions of people and will perpetuate "the system" of killing a handful of innocent children/teens every year. So if you agree to that, then you might as well be a worker for The Director and The Ancient Ones. You are so worried and concerned about billions of innocent babies, that you won't think about the horrific nature of "The System." Over time, you'll end up like them as you partake in the betting pool, dance with your victims' music, and call Tequila as your "lady"...
Not killing Marty will obliterate the whole human race. So, yes, it seems like a humane thing to say things like, "What's one death compared to billions?!" Marty was the one who chose to go underground with Dana (plus he had the technical skills to do so). He could have just stayed "upstairs" (if he didn't know how to tinker with the elevator) and survived a little bit longer and the end of the world would still arrive but he wouldn't have any idea as to why that big hand just popped up below their cabin and caused the end of humanity. What would you think then at that point?
But there is a third option... Let's use film logic for one moment. Obviously, these Ancient Ones have been contained at one point and the human race flourished. Remember what Dana said? "It's time to give someone else a chance." Who is this "someone"? That someone will be the person(s) who will figure out another way to contain the "Ancient Ones" without resorting to spilling the blood of innocent human beings. I guess that would mean destroying the Ancient Ones, but that is what the ending of the film leads to. It's actually a hopeful ending because we've decided to not be slaves to these Ancient Ones any longer and we will find a champion who finally obliterate these fucking Ancient Ones from our world.
And back to EvilTwin's quote: With that said, I believe that Marty is the audience identification character and not Dana...
And as a sidenote: I fucking loved this movie. Best film of the year. A game changer, especially to aspiring filmmakers who wants to delve into the horror genre. And if you are a film lover, this is that movie that you will just love and something that you will repeatedly watch. It will inspire you and will bring back the joy and wonderment of watching movies, especially horror films. This might not be a financial success, but it's an important film that I'm very grateful that it found the light of day. Because even though it won't make a blip on anyone's radar, while PA4 to PA20 will make buttloads of cash, somewhere out there is a person who has been creatively-charged by the loving geek juices of Whedon and Goddard. He/she/it is that "someone else"...