Pain’s not bad, it’s good. It teaches you things. I understand that. – Charles Manson
Way before Margot Robbie portrayed Sharon Stone, and Brad Pitt – Leo Dicaprio starrer, Tarantino directed movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood came – there was Helter Skelter. Both movies traverse the path of a Los Angeles that was annotated by The Manson Family, headed by cult leader Charles Manson, who is the most notorious and insidious serial killer ever, without actually ever directly committing a crime. Both movies showed the brutality with which members of the Family destroyed lives of people, in and outside the cult due to the feverish following of Manson. However Helter Skelter, unlike Once Upon A Time, doesn’t mince words or sequences in proving just how messed up Manson’s teachings were.
Helter Skelter, named after the Beatles’ song infused prophecy of Charles Manson referred to a kind of an Armageddon, one that Manson used to assert paranoia in his family. The movie showed that in as much details as possible. Granted the blue hazy cinematography of the movie, and the rushed movements, and a blurry over-arching effect made it a little less gory, but the fright was real. The way the Tate- LaBianca murders were shown, full of eating watermelons and writing Pigs Blood, it sent a shiver down the spine of every viewer because of just how disturbing a mentality can go when misguided. There weren’t jump scares, except for maybe Abigail Folger’s murder, but the movie provided you with a seeping scare that penetrated through the audience with such visceral motives, you couldn’t just shut your eyes to the monstrosity unfolding in front of you.
Helter Skelter is virtually unknown, it is a movie that doesn’t sugarcoat a killing spree, and it tells you in all honesty and earnest, that perhaps very few horror antagonists are in the comparison with the sheer reality of Charles Manson.