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Boris Arkadin is a horror film maker. His pregnant wife was brutally murdered by a Manson-like gang of hippy psychopaths during the 1960s. He becomes a virtual recluse - until years later he directs his own snuff inspired movies. He invites actors to take part in an audition at his country manor house - blurring the lines of what is real and what is fiction. Written by
I just saw it at the Edinburgh Film Festival and I think this film is absolutely brilliant!
First, Thank god that a smart horror film has arrived in a genre long stagnated with mediocrity, slasher nonsense or "around the corner, haunted house" horror. If you are the someone who needs high budget Hollywood filler, then this might not be for you. This is what good film making should be...thought provoking and entertaining. It even has a bit of the old ultra violence thrown in for good measure!
Leave it to Bernard Rose (a real auteur - wrote and directed last several films) to create a thoughtful and complex horror film reminiscent of Ken Russell or Dario Angento. His commentary on the horror genre, violence, sex and voyeurism (in general) is outstanding and could only come from a master director of horror (Candyman - Paperhouse)
In Snuff-Movie, Rose has assembled movies on top of movies which all make up this movie. Sounds strange? Watch the film and you'll get it! Each movie is unique in its reference to a particular element of horror and constantly questions what horror truly is. Rose refers to these different elements and expands to even incorporate our fascination with voyeurism with TV's (Big Brother - Reality TV) and the internet (web cam sex etc). The film's narrative progresses forward through the use of these different "movies" and keeps us guessing as to what is next and what is real. It's constant changes are referential to the TV channel switching age we live which is fueled by violence and the viewers ever increasing need for it.
Ironically, Rose is smart enough to understand horror and address it from alternate view points. He makes some wonderful references (to so many other horror films) throughout that I was thoroughly amused!
Conversely, There is so much outstanding social commentary you have to appreciate it. For instance the murderous tortures all looking like Private England dressed in Camouflage but with fangs. Then there is a comment on an internet porn search that reveals one characters girlfriend. Talk about playing on your fears in the modern age!
Like in most reality shows...I found the acting (across the board) stifled and contrived. I found the sets stifled and contrived. I thought the characters looked like they were wearing wigs....then it dawned on me that I was being taking for a "ride" by Rose and when the final scene takes place, it all made perfect sense! Brilliant. What a commentary!
Remember, this is a movie. Movies aren't real. At what level are you going to suspend your disbelief?
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