Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 32

28 Populär Culture Review religious life with her followers, the community, and even with students o f my folklore d a ss in fall o f 2010 and spring o f 2011, Violet Devereaux only “practices” in the dark. The fact that she keeps quiet about her practices indicates that she has no good intention. Third, in contrast to Voodoo Priestesses Miriam Chamani— founder o f New Orleans’ Voodoo temple— or Ava Kay Jones, who both contribute to New Orleans’ cultural heritage and the survival o f its Voodoo religion by educating “the public in the true nature o f the Voodoo religion” (Jones, Yoruba Priestess online) through “lectures, seminars, teachings, and [the] sharing [of the] spiritual knowledge” (Chamani online), the fictional character o f Violet Deveraux has nothing to give to her husband, family, or community. On the contrary, she stains this religion with the horrifying notion o f hexing and soul snatching. In this respect, Violet Devereaux can be compared to the Devil alias Louis Cypher in Angel Heart. Both Violet Devereaux and Louis Cypher are soul seekers and soul snatchers who do not have anything good in mind. They have no commonalities with a Voodoo priestess. Condusion After examining the representation o f the Voodoo religion in the two films Angel Heart and The Skeleton Key, we can conclude that the religion has once again been misrepresented in populär film. Both films fuel the erroneous notion that Voodoo is synonymous with hoodoo, conjure, and witchcraft, and that it comprises elements such as soul snatching, animal and human sacrifice, as well as murder. This being said, both films stigmatize the religion as a dangerous cult whose membership only finds termination through death. Hence, Alan Parker and Iain Softley consolidate the Voodoo hoodoo construct “that the film business has been creating since the early 1940s. It is a construct that tum s a religion focused on ancestor worship and the establishment o f harmony between the seif and the surrounding (spiritual) world into a counterforce o f malicious and evil intent. It is a construct that has nothing to do with reality” (Reuber 17). Without having the opportunity to experience and leam about Voodoo, the general public will, however, not be able to disentangle Hollywood’s carefully spun web o f misrepresentations o f the religion’s spiritual beliefs, rituals, and ceremonies. Thus, they will continue to “simply enjoy” Voodoo in the form o f suspense thrillers. Here we can only hope for two things: First, that readers o f this and o f similar critical contributions to this topic will pass the message