Well, not much has been happening in Coven lately. So I decided to start reviewing some Dream Addresses, specifically horror-themed towns since it is October and all. Today, I traveled to Cuteland.
Honestly, I was very disappointed by this town. It was shocking at first because of the name, which was obviously a misnomer, and the overall appearance, which was carefully manicured for the sake of irony. Once I started to piece the story together, though, I found the town was no longer scary or shocking at all. It was tired. Hagged, even.
Cuteland seems to the tell the story of a girl who is sent to an orphanage or group home or maybe even a poorhouse of some sort run by a woman called Mom. The problem is that once she gets there, she discovers that is not at all what it seems. No, the girl called Exo, which stands for Examination or Under Examination (I’m guessing) has actually been sent to an insane asylum for young girls and women. The problem? Exo is not insane or mentally ill in any way, and the girls who are treated very, very badly. Soon Mom realizes the mistake and Exo runs away from the asylum, but she is caught and when she is, Mom makes her all better via shock therapy and other “experimental” procedures. And little Exo becomes known as exo — just another one of the drugged up, sick, little zombie girls that remain under examination in the Cuteland asylum.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was actually fairly impressed with this town. I specifically enjoyed the reference to the Brothers Grimm fairytale “Hansel & Gretel”. I imagine Cuteland did seem like a dream come true at first for Exo. Sort of like a house made out of candy with an evil witch living there. Nice symbolism, and points for effort because the “apple of my eye” thing was a really clever metaphor for the strict observation the patients were under and led to the creation of a truly disturbing town flag. So what’s the problem?
The problem is people have been abusing the mentally ill (and poor) inside insane asylums for decades. Just turn on any episode of Ghost Adventures with the word “hospital” in the title to see what kind of misdeeds they’ve suffered at the hands of the US medical system in the past. So, basically, I’ve seen it all before.
That being said, I’ve decided to give this town a five out of ten for shock value, symbolism, and overall cleverness. I’ll be doing more dream reviews later in the week, although after this month, it’ll probably just become a weekly thing. So if you’ve got a horror town you’d like to me to review, then send me Ask and hope I like what I see.