Analysis Of The Movie ' Ghost Malls '

Decent Essays

Ghost Malls

Shopping malls are not meant to be sinister. And, yet, in 1977, Georg A Romero chose to film sequences of Dawn of the Dead, his cult horror zombie movie, in a deserted mall. Shorn of life and light, the great echoing chambers of the enclosed shopping center took on a very eerie tone. Curiously, Romero’s set design has much in common with the ever-increasing number of abandoned malls strewn across the United States. There are well over a hundred of these lifeless concrete and steel behemoths sprawled beside freeways on the fringes of far-flung American suburbs. Economic decline in certain areas − notably the mid-West − combined with an accelerating trend towards on-line shopping and new forms of urban shopping centers have pushed the once seemingly invincible all-American shopping mall into decline. Some are thriving, and being renovated, yet ‘ghost malls’ are fast becoming the “ghost towns” of the early 21st Century. Inside, their acres of kitsch design seem even sorrier than a seaside fun-fair out-of-season. All that marble, those wall tiles, the broad, Hollywood-like stairs leading nowhere are both a little trashy and rather poignant.
The First Mall All the more poignant, in fact, because the first US malls were not meant to have been sited miles from anywhere and reached only by big, air-conditioned automobiles with automatic transmission and power-everything. No, Viktor Grun, the ‘father of the shopping mall’ meant them to be the core around which new

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