‘Ratched’ brings thrill and horror


Sofia Rositani Arts & Entertainment Editor

“Ratched” is a new series on Netflix that may be thrilling for some but hard to stomach for others. In the first scene of the show the viewers witness a man murder eight priests. In other scenes lobotomy’s are shown with a horrifying crunching noise that even seasoned horror fans will shiver at.

“Ratched” is about the character Nurse Ratched from the book and film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey. The show was made by Ryan Murphy, who is known for the FX show “American Horror Story” and FOX TV series “Scream Queens.”

“You save one life well you are a hero, you save 100 lives, well then, you are a nurse,” Nurse Ratched said.

Murphy may not be new to horror, but he is new to creating a show based off of a cult classic. He does a splendid job at keeping true to the original character, but has added his own twist.

While in the books and movie, Ratched is not in any form gay. Murphy has chosen to explore the reason she has an icy exterior is because of her repressed sexuality from the era she lives in. In the books Kesey never gave Nurse Ratched a first name, but Murphy gives her the name Mildred.

Because the show takes place in 1947, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and one way to treat this was through hydrotherapy, a dangerous treatment where the person would be set into a metal bath that is covered with only their head shown.

They are then put into boiling water. After the subject is put into the bath, they are usually in there for 20 minutes to several days, and are then transferred to an ice bath.

During a scene where a woman is being treated with hydrotherapy, we see Ratched soften and try to help her out of the water without causing her more pain than she already was inflicted with. Later on in the show, Ratched helps two lesbians escape from the hospital. Her reasoning is because she finally understands why they are gay.

“You said I didn’t understand, but I do,” Ratched said. In episode four of the show there is a scene that seems like it’s straight out of a movie from the 1940’s but in color. From the camera angle, to how all the action happened off screen with their shadows showing, and the music in the background, it played out just like a horror movie from that era.

Sarah Paulson plays Nurse Ratched in this show. Paulson is one of many cast members in “Ratched” who was also in Murphy’s other show “American Horror Story.”

During the show Paulson does a great job at showing her emotions because in the book “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“The expression on her face was calm and blank as enamel, but the strain was beginning to show in other ways,” Kesey said in his book.

This is something Paulson does a very good job of, showing no emotion and showing emotion at the right moment of time. Her character in this show is very similar to her character in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” Wilhemina Venable, who, like Ratched, is very stern and scary.

Paulson has done many characters in “American Horror Story,” who are different in each season. She can play the role of a blind witch with a heart of gold in Coven, to the role of a heartless woman who was one reason the world ended in Apocalypse.

She is an actress who plays very diverse roles in the shows and movies she is in and in each role, she plays these characters effectively and as an audience member you would never be able to tell she played a different role prior.

Netflix may have not renewed “Ratched” for season two yet, but the ending is left open for a new season. As someone who has been following Murphy for 10 years, I know there will be a season two because his dark and twisted shows leave you on the edge of your seat waiting and wanting to know more.

Photo credit: Roma Rositani

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