Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No matter how safe your house is, there’s always a way in

A week ago, I came home to discover that my house had been broken into, ransacked and robbed. I was frightened and upset. Someone had busted through the front door, stolen items dear to me, and left out the back. I felt shaken to the core because my personal space had been invaded and my personal belongings rifled through and strewn about.

While I cleaned up and put everything back in its place, I found myself thinking of Farrah Fawcett in Extremities. Although the kind of home invasion and attack Fawcett experiences in the film is an entirely different one than I faced, I found myself thinking about the unlikely twist the film takes when the tables are turned on the invader and he becomes the victim.

I remember how terrifying I thought the plot was when I saw Extremities for the first time. Fawcett plays Marjorie, a woman who is attacked and manages to escape her assailant, but not before he makes off with her purse. Now in possession of her personal identification and address, Marjorie fears that her attacker will find her to finish what he started. And he does. Marjorie’s attacker, Joe, breaks into her home and subjects Marjorie to vicious mental and physical assaults.

In a thrilling and unexpected twist, Marjorie overpowers Joe by spraying bug spray into his eyes, and manages to tie him up and hold him captive. What ensues next is a reversal of roles where Marjorie becomes the attacker and Joe the victim, as Marjorie subjects Joe to the same brutal assaults he subjected her to. Joe pleads for Marjorie to stop and is reduced to tears, while Marjorie contemplates whether to call the police who she fears might not believe that she was the original victim, and grapples with whether to release Joe or to kill him.

Thinking about the film Extremities now after experiencing a break-in makes the film seem even more chilling than before. The fear of knowing, of anticipating, like Marjorie did, that someone may invade your home is a terrifying notion. Sadly, the risk of a break-in and robbery exists for every homeowner, and even though it is a very real possibility, one’s sense of security isn’t threatened or lost until it happens and the possibility becomes a reality.


  1. 16 so I don't have a home yet. But someone broke into my locker at school and took clothes and some money from my wallet.

    Terrible feeling.

    Great post as always.

  2. Thanks - glad you enjoyed the post, Duke. It's a terrible feeling indeed - sorry to hear about your experience.


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