This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
If there’s one thing which the horror career of Sam Neill has regularly taught us, it’s that the man just isn’t equipped to deal with divorce, bereavement, and other relationship setbacks. It seems that whenever one of his fictional marriages unravel, things run out of control, he can’t keep hold of his emotions, people end up dying and the gates of hell get busted wide open.
Well, I’ve learned a few things myself in my time about the rusty, blood-soaked bear traps that litter the path of romance. The bad news is that you can never fully comprehend and encompass the sheer complexity of the human heart, which means that you can never truly know whether your partner’s love is genuinely enduring or whether it will vanish forever tomorrow, like a pattern in a kaleidoscope that vanishes after a turn. The good news is that you can never fully comprehend and encompass the sheer complexity of the human heart, which means that you should never underestimate your capability to heal and recover from a traumatic breakup. (The other bad news is that the hacksaw is only strong enough to cut through your flesh and bone, but not the aforementioned bear traps themselves. I don’t know where you go to buy hacksaws of that Very Specific Level of Strength, but frankly I think just offering them for sale is giving people ideas.)
I feel bad for Neill, and for everyone else struggling with these issues, so in reviewing these movies I decided to see what useful tips for divorcees I can tease out from their stories. As it turns out, the answer is “a lot” – Sam Neill is really awful at dealing with the end of relationships.