Ever since Joker premiered at the Venice Film Festival, it has sparked debate over whether it accommodates incel culture.
Despite critics calling it a masterpiece, reviews dubbing it the ‘most terrifying one yet,’ and the film receiving an eight-minute standing ovation, some have criticised it for catering to incels (‘involuntary celibates’) who believe women are to blame for their lack of sexual experience.
Others have argued a lack of romance and sex is not what drives the Joker towards violence and he never displays misogynistic tendencies, therefore the film cannot be perceived as an incel movie in any way.
Another upcoming film, set to be released on the same day as Joker, certainly can though:
Cuck, directed by Rob Lambert, is a story about Ronnie (Zachary Ray Sherman), a man in his twenties who lives at home caring for his mum (Sally Kirkland), The Daily Beast reports.
As per IMDb, the synopsis for the film reads:
When a frustrated loner gains popularity as an Alt-Right vlogger, the online echo chamber turns his fears into a deadly rage.
The trailer shows Ronnie sitting in his dark bedroom surrounded by American flags and military pamphlets, watching online videos of right-wing commentators – including his favourite, Chance Dalmain (Travis Hammer) – as they rant about the ‘dangers’ of immigration and diversity.
In one such rant, the commentator asks his audience: ‘Are you ready to take the red pill? Or are you just another cuck?’ Cuck is derived from cuckold, an old-fashioned term for a man whose wife has sex with other men.
It’s an insult often used by conservatives to insult men for being weak or effeminate, and hence would encourage people (incels) such as Ronnie to do anything in his power to prove that he isn’t one.
Furthermore, the allusion to The Matrix’s ‘red pill’ speech refers to incels’ belief that only they can see the truth; that society is unfairly rigged against men like them, according to The Daily Beast.
In simple terms, Cuck’s antagonist is the definition of an incel. Ronnie still lives with his mum, he feels alienated by society and regularly incites hate speech towards minority groups, and gets fired from a job he despises as a result of this.
Headed towards an inevitable massacre at the end of the film (if the multiple references to gun violence are anything to go by), Cuck looks set to offer a terrifying insight into the world of incel culture – much more so than Joker, anyway.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).