The third of these examples brings us closer to [Safe] in the way that it engages with questions of gender and suburbia. The satirical force of The Stepford Wives, directed by Bryan Forbes, lies in its dystopic presentation of suburbia as the ideal locale for reactionary male fantasies.
As such, [.Safe] is a film that invites its viewers inside suburbia as a means of understanding the wider world.
The film begins with an extended traveling shot which takes the spectator deeper and deeper into suburbia, eventually arriving at an enormous mock-Tudor home complete with wrought-iron gate and flourishing front garden.
The film takes the spectator inside suburbia, then into the suburban home and bedroom, before finally delving into the psyche of its protagonist.
As stark as a prison cell, and stripped of all but the barest necessities, Carol's safe haven is in effect a desuburbanization of suburbia, an escape from a sanitized environment to a detoxified one.
This returns us to the question of suburbia itself, which in the creation of a hygienic space, set apart from and barricaded against the contaminations that plague the wider world, likewise seems an effort to escape the symptoms generated by the contradictions of a capitalist society.
Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. New York: Basic Books, 1987.
(4) For comparisons of the development of suburbia in Britain and the United States, see Robert L.
(6) That both The Stepford Wives and Dawn of the Dead were remade in 200 suggests that these concerns about the connections between consumerism, suburbia, and the irrational persist today, albeit in heavily ironized and somewhat blunted forms compared to the critical edges of the originals.