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YMMV / Insomnia

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  • Complete Monster: Atropos is one of the three "little bald doctors" responsible for cutting the life threads of the mortals whose time has come. Unlike the other two, Atropos absolutely despises humans for being such short-lived creatures, and takes great pleasure in ending their lives. So, in addition to doing his job, Atropos goes after people whose fate isn’t decided and causes them to die horribly, which he has done enough times to fill a cave with trophies of his victims. When his boss, the Crimson King, wants him to kill a young boy before said boy grows up to oppose his plans, Atropos uses this opportunity to harm as many people as possible, proceeding to corrupt a nice family man called Ed Deepneau into becoming a wife-beating extremist. Under Atropos's manipulation, Deepneau gets together with like-minded maniacs and assaults a woman care center, where they murder dozens of people, as a distraction for his real plan: to have Deepneau crash with a plane full of explosives onto a pro-abortion rights rally that the kid will be attending with his mother, killing them along with the other two thousand people present. Along the way, Atropos has several of the protagonist’s friends killed just to piss him off, and taunts him about it. Finally, when his plans are foiled, Atropos tries to kill Deepneau’s six-year old daughter, who the hero befriended, just to get back at him for humiliating him in front of his boss.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Crashing a plane into a building as a terrorist attack became retroactively uncomfortable after 9/11.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Ralph recreating Sheffield Steel shears now instantly brings to mind the Thirteenth Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
  • Squick: Ralph torturing Atropos in order to make him comply. Sure, Atropos has proven himself a complete monster at this point so it's hard to feel sorry for the bastard, but since the things Ralph does to Atropos are described in detail it can still have this effect. Even Ralph is disgusted by himself once he's done.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending will have you in tears.
  • Values Dissonance: Susan Day is portrayed as just as bad as the anti-abortion protesters, only interested in propping up her own ego by raising hell over a supposed risk of abortion being made illegal again that has no chance of actually happening. With the Supreme Court's shift to the right in The New '10s and subsequent serious worries that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, this comes off as horribly naive.


  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Did Dormer kill his partner by mistake or did he take advantage of the situation? Even Dormer isn't sure by the end.
    • Did Kay laugh at Walter because she thought they were just friends and was weirded out by him kissing her, or was it a kind of happy laughter if she'd thought that he just saw her as a friend and didn't return her crush. Was Walter even telling the truth about her laughing, and that driving him to murder, considering the Fridge Horror below?.
  • Fridge Horror (also Fridge Brilliance): If you are paying close attention throughout the film, you will notice that 1) Ellie closely resembles Kay. 2) Kay's letters are still on Finch's desk at his apartment in Umkumiut, not at his cabin by the lake, when Dormer kicks in the door. This means that when Finch calls Ellie to meet him at the cabin so he can give her the letters, he has some other motive for calling her there. 3) He leaves the drawer open so Ellie can see the dress, giving him an excuse to silence her. All this taken together suggests that Finch wanted to kill Ellie the moment he saw her, either because she looks like Kay or because he knows she suspects something.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Finch being driven into dark rage by being laughed at. Becomes a lot more disturbing when you consider that Robin Williams was a mostly comedic actor who struggled with long-term depression later in life that his humorous roles didn't make better and may have made worse.


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