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Sheesh, is Elena ever going to catch a break in Season 2?
Really, she started out all revenge-bonkers, knocking off mutts as she obsessively hunted for Malcolm, pausing only to have occasional rage sex with Clay. About two seconds after killing Malcolm, she was kidnapped by Aleister and forced to be the nutty (and late) Dr. Sondra Bauer's guinea pig (guinea wolf?), poked and prodded and forced to transform in front of poor, hapless Rachel.
However, that was all a park walk compared to what Elena goes through in Episode 6: "Nine Circles." Aleister is tired of her being the Ripley to Savannah's Newt, so he casts a spell that he believes will destroy her mind as it sends her down his witchy rabbit hole. Indeed, Elena's nightmarish, hallucinatory journey down Guilt Boulevard shares a lot of parallel imagery with Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland (1951). Like this.
And there's more than just Alice going on here (go ask Alice). Feed your head, why don't you?
- The Door
The first part of Elena's bad trip has her crawling through the small hole she kicked into existence when she was first put in her cell, way back in Episode 4.
- Through the Looking Glass
This, of course, leads her to Savannah's room, which is much more girly and cozy than hers.
- The Rabbit
Elena's not welcome in Savannah's room, though. There's a stuffed rabbit in the corner, and its damn head just falls off after Elena looks at it. Bad omen!
(For all you survival horror gamers out there, this image also reminded us of the unsettling image of the accusatory rabbit in Silent Hill 4: The Room. Right? Shudder!)
- The Hands
Here's where Elena's journey takes a left turn out of Wonderland and into horror movie territory. True, the hands that come out of the wall might make you vaguely recall the Helping Hands scene from the Alice in Wonderland-ish Labyrinth (1986) …
But it more vividly recalls this terrifying moment from Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965).
Oh yeah, and one of the most memorable moments from George Romero's Day of the Dead (1985), too. Yikes!
- The Bloody Bathtub
Elena's pleasant vision of Clay is soon interrupted by the terrifying image of her drowning in a pool of blood. The heroine from the recent horror flick, Jessabelle (2014), experienced similar unpleasantness …
And then there's this curious moment from The Tingler (1959), in which Vincent Price works bizarre experiments to cure a deaf-mute germophobe of her extreme fear of blood. Classy.
- The Crawling Terror
Then Elena comes across Diane, all bloody and feral and unkempt, blaming Elena for her late human boyfriend Philip's death … and her own! Diane reminds us of our dear Samara from The Ring (2002) here …
Oh, and Kayako from The Grudge (2004). And you thought your J-Horror remake nightmares were over!
- Bad Savannah
Finally, we circle back to Alice in Wonderland as Elena encounters a dark version of Savannah, who sports pitch-black eyes and accuses Elena of being "Selfish!" for not protecting her when she said she would. Is it us or does the red dress (and wild gesturing/emoting) recall the Queen of Hearts herself?
Luckily, Elena snaps out of it, blows some stuff up and rescues Savannah from Aleister's evil clutches. We have a feeling our vengeful male witch has a few more spells up his sleeve, though. Beware!