I just finished watching Season 1 of The Returned. French zombies! Fun!
Plotspoilers Under the Fold:
No brain-eating, but something’s up for sure! Then, finally, Julie and Claire do what someone should have done already: try to get the hell out of Dodge, with Victor in tow. It turns out: you can’t. The whole area is now some sort of inescapable fairy circle. You end up back where you started. So it’s Lost. Or Under The Dome. Only our beset band is cast away in a picturesque French valley. This is a teensy bit annoying, because there’s no obvious thematic significance, no clear logic to the arrangement. It feels like a heavy-handed afterthought to the zombie premise. It’s a kludge. You don’t want the French army showing up in force, firing rockets at revenants. You want to keep your cast small. This is to be a low-key, small town affair. Sealing off the zone is an inverse deus ex machina. Some divine power arbitrarily descends to ensure the problem is not solved in the obvious way.
Of course I will be very happy if it turns out, in Season 2, that revenants-plus-fairy circle makes total sense. But I’m not holding my breath. (Sometimes the hermetic seal is justified quite neatly. Cabin In The Woods. I haven’t seen or read Under The Dome, but at least it’s not a kludge when it’s your central premise.)
So my question is: what is the history of this narrative device? The supernatural/science fictional small world, arbitrarily bottled off so just a handful of trapped characters have to deal with the crisis by themselves? No picking up the phone and calling the government! What is a good name for the trope? (Does it have a name already?)
It used to be, of course, you could just plunk your haunting down in an isolated village or lonely manor. But the modern world doesn’t have so many bits that are civilized yet plausibly isolated any more. Cell phones and etc. So these creepy little worlds need to be artificially sealed-off, to stay small enough. What do you think?