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Emily and her friend Angelica go to a rave in the woods, and when they arrive, they meet a stranger called Swan that promises some Exstasy for the girls. They follow him to a cabin into the forest where they meet the sadistic gang leaded by the psychotic Chaos. The girls are abused, tortured and raped in a night of nightmare and murder. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I viewed Chaos at the 2005 Flashback Weekend horror convention in Chicago. The Q&A session with the writer/director David DeFalco, producer Steven Jay Bernheim, and actor Sage Stallone was, strangely enough, before the film. After seeing the movie, I have a hunch as to why. DeFalco and Bernheim were very adamant at pushing this film as the "scariest and most brutal film ever," one of seemingly hundreds per year that reaches for that title. They then proceeded to bash the film they openly admitted influenced Chaos, Wes Craven's horror classic The Last House on the Left, calling it "unrealistic" and "hard to watch," to the point where there was an obvious change in the dynamic of the audience. Because DeFalco, who considers himself a "true horror fan," pushed so hard for people to like this film, I feel obliged to push the other way.
Chaos is by no means an original film. I've seen this movie made countless times with only slight variations on the plot. It does, however, have a few brutal, almost redeeming scenes that do make it worth seeing if you are a true "grindcore" or exploitation movie fan. Both of these, the first in particular, are what the movie will most likely be remembered by. They are both particularly well done, especially with the realistic looking blood and gore effects and the reactions of the female leads. This is, however, my last positive comment on the film.
Each character has been given a set of stereotypes that they must stick to, and none of them transcends their limitations. The girls in Chaos are as mindless as the girls in any other slasher or horror film, which is disappointing after hearing for half an hour about the "realism" of the movie. The police are the most generic characters in the movie, and the Sheriff's racism is extremely played out. Even the parents, an inter-racial couple that you'd think would be the least definable, stick to their stereotypes.
Chaos (the main "bad guy") and company are introduced in a completely unnecessary opening scene that does nothing but establish their characters as low-grade criminals. For a character that is supposed to come across as an example of the ultimate evil (he calls himself the devil at least once), Chaos is shown as a petty thief.
There are a couple inconsistencies in the plot, specifically timing issues. At one point, what seems to be a several minute walk for one group turns into a ten minute car ride for another.
Additionally, the ending feels entirely tacked on. I know that I wasn't the only person in the audience who laughed at the audacity of the director, after placing so much emphasis on realism, to include such a slapstick, somewhat comedic, ending.
In the end, I left the theater bewildered, but for all the wrong reasons. I usually am not so picky about "realism" in horror movies, but after hearing the director make such a point about it, I felt compelled to judge Chaos on it. I really want to believe that DeFalco has what it takes to make a good, original movie, because I saw potential in a few short moments. Unfortunately, after hearing the director speak so openly about this film as not only being his masterpiece, but set to trump The Last House on the Left, a film that has become a staple in any horror fan's collection... well, I'm not too hopeful that we're going to see anything too original from him.
Later this year will see the release of Eli Roth's Hostel, another film billed as the most brutal movie ever captured on film. Maybe a truly original "grindcore" film really is around the corner, but I'm not holding my breath.
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