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|Index||45 reviews in total|
51 out of 75 people found the following review useful:
British grit, meets contemporary commercial cinema..., 27 August 2007
Author: Lee Russell from Sussex, UK.
I went to one of the first official screenings of this film last night
at the frightfest in London, West End. It was brilliant! I wouldn't
suggest that I was sceptical, but more open minded and intrigued to
discover exactly what this movie was going to be like. I had heard
mixed reviews about pre-completed screenings and at the end of the day,
didn't want to waste my Sunday evening.
I am pleased to say that 'WaZ' is a perfect mixture of raw grit, commercial trends and generic cliché's. I am not always a fan of modern day camera work and cinematography, yet this film comfortably took it to the limit and told a great story in an innovative way. Well done to Mr Shankland and fellow cast and crew, as this film will (in my mind) no doubt keep thriller fans on the edge of their seats when spending the close approaching weekend evenings at the flicks.
42 out of 64 people found the following review useful:
Not bad, just a triumph of style over substance, 28 February 2008
Author: seawalker from Birmingham, England
The most influential American horror movie of the last 20 years is
"Seven". This much is undeniable. I really liked "Seven". Great movie.
It might be one of my favourites. The only problem is that every inner
city set horror thriller made since comes across, to me, as
Which brings me to "Waz".
A city of permanent night. A cop on the edge. A diabolical killer. Inventive, ingenious torture and murder. Victims with a reason for being victimised.
Yup. "Seven"-lite. Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, because you have to take every movie on it's own merits, but disappointing when witnessed over and over again.
"Waz" isn't bad. It is just unoriginal and a triumph of style over substance. The city is effectively portrayed as grim, dirty, cold and wet. You wouldn't want to go there on holiday. You wouldn't want to hang out with any of these people. The tone of the film is unpleasant, seedy and black. To coin a dated phrase, a video nasty. It will get you down. It also has one of the most disturbing filmed sequences of sexual abuse I have ever seen. All insinuated, you don't see a thing, but it is horrible.
Melissa George has been better and is frankly wasted as the pouting sidekick, but "Waz" does have a superior cast (Stellan Skarsgård, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy, etc.) for what is effectively a straightforward genre movie. Some of the questions I had as to why they signed up for this movie were answered during the denouement, when the motivations behind Stellan Skarsgård's actions are revealed and his character develops levels way beyond that of a tormented cop.
So, "Waz" was OK. Not bad for a walk on the dark side.
50 out of 81 people found the following review useful:
Superior to Saw and other so-called torture porn, 5 March 2008
Author: standeman1984 from United Kingdom
To begin with, this movie isn't just another torture porn flick that
we've seen a glut of in recent times (Saw, Hostel and the like).
There's actually a decent plot regarding the murderer and their
victims, something that examines humanity's darker side yet goes beyond
the base sadism displayed in actual torture porn, which this isn't. The
marketing campaign gave it the appearance of such a film and i was
nearly put off, however my optimism got the better of me as I confess,
I am a huge horror fan and there were glimpses that it could be quite
good. And it is, in fact it's very good.
There's a rugged brutal efficiency in the way this film goes about delivering the goods. You've got your cops, new and old, with sketchy case files and hints of crookedness, a scientific theory of genetics being exploited by our murderer and a gang of outlaws who are being targeted. All of it is carried out with appropriate macabre and occasional wit and humour, good, edgy hand-held camera techniques, clever acting and a pacey script. I thought it was great on an intelligence level and I squirmed every time there was a 'nail' scene.
I was even more surprised to learn afterwards that this was a British production, was shot in Belfast and used a largely British cast, yet had me fooled as to it's New York setting and convincing accents. What more can i say apart from wow, i love this movie? I also realised after that Waz is Saw backwards, and a cynic may say that is opportunistic marketing, but to them i say, see the movie and tell me it doesn't at least give Saw a run for it's money, if not kick it's stupid face off. Saw's ideas were good, but their killer seemed a flimsy afterthought to me. In Waz, the killer and their motives are integral to the plot,(which surprises before a satisfactory ending)and it's hard not to find empathy for the killer, something i never got in Saw. The great script and acting add depth and character to the story, which hit me with surprises and left me feeling contemplative, which is unusual for horror today.
Verdict: Come for the torture, stay for the good movie
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Solid and Dark Police Story, 20 October 2008
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When the body of the pregnant girlfriend of the criminal Wesley Smith
(Michael Liebman) is found electrocuted, detectives Eddie Argo (Stellan
Skarsgård) and Helen Westcott (Melissa George) are assigned to
investigate the case. They seek out Wesley with his gang of low-life
criminals and Pierre (Tom Hardy), Jamal (Sean Brian Jordaan) and Daniel
Leone (Ashley Walters) tell that they have not seen him. They move to a
crack alley and the addicted whore Elly (Sally Hawkins) tells that
Wesley is upstairs. They find Wesley tortured, with two fingers burnt
and hanged with the equation W∆Z = Cov + E engraved on his flesh. Then
they find Jamal and his twin brother Khaled killed in the same modus
operandi and the coroner finds the dissociative anesthetic Ketamine in
the autopsy. Helen finds that the only laboratory with the controlled
substance available in the area is the one managed by the researcher
Dr. Gelb (Paul Kaye). When they arrive, Dr. Gelb explains the meaning
of the equation a.k.a. Price equation, which is a mathematical
description of evolution and natural selection, i.e., there is no
altruism in nature. Their further investigation discloses that Dr.
Gelb's former assistant was Jean Lerner (Selma Blair), a young woman
that was gang raped by Pierre and his gang and forced to kill her own
mother. Due to contaminated evidences, the criminals have never been
sentenced. Now she is forcing each rapist to kill the one he or she
loves to save himself or herself from death, influenced by Dr. Gelb
researches. Further, Helen suspects that her partner and detective Jack
Corelli (John Sharian) intentionally destroyed the evidences.
"W∆Z" is a solid and dark police story and it is inevitable the comparison with the style and cinematography of "Se7en". The plot is very well resolved, supported by an excellent screenplay, great direction and stunning performances. The gruesome locations are depressive, using a dark cinematography, and the relationship between Eddie and Danny is a surprising twist. The characters are believable, with corrupt police and criminals living in the gray division between law and crime. This is the type of movie in which the killer has good motives for her actions. The plot is clever, raising questions about the existence and meaning of love and evolution of species. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "W∆Z Matemática da Morte" ("W∆Z Mathematic of the Death")
44 out of 74 people found the following review useful:
Surprised, 8 October 2007
I was surprised when I watched this movie at the Fantasy Film Festival
in Stuttgart/Germany. And I'm surprised that it got a high rating here
at IMDb too. Not because it doesn't deserve it in my eyes (obviously as
seen in my rating). I just didn't expect a relatively small movie (even
with a stellar cast, and yes pun intended) to be noticed that much, but
I was wrong.
The movie itself is very dark and gritty. It's also not for the faint hearted! There are scenes here, that might make you squeal, if you're not up for the brutality of what is shown! Allow yourself into this brutal and dark world and be amazed by it's "beauty"! That's all I have to say, about this thriller ...
23 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
brutal yet thought-provoking, 10 October 2007
Author: darkslyde from London, England
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seemed to me as though the film is confused whether it is an edgy noir-esquire thriller or 'torture porn' in the vein of Saw. On the one hand the production is excellent with hand-held camera-work and a sensitive use of low-key lighting (the film is VERY dark) adding to the ubiquitous air of suspense. On the other hand it could be said that the torture at the end is a bit excessive, crowd-pleasing and/or shatters the Hitchcockian intensity associated with allowing the audience to conceive the horrors in their own minds (though personally I like a bit of gratuitous violence). At the heart of this film though is a battle between love and hatred that gets you thinking. Some on these boards have said that it has changed their whole view of life and love. While it probably hasn't affected me quite so profoundly I would have to say that everyone should watch this film as it's guaranteed to entertain, engage and inspire, which is what all art should do. Overall a very good movie: 8/10.
20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
well-made, intelligent detective/suspense movie, 21 November 2008
Author: dickcheneyissatan from United States
For fans of the detective and suspense genres, this is a worthwhile
pick. One could legitimately criticize the art direction as being
derivative of "Se7en" or "Saw," but why bother? The writing, the
direction, and particularly the acting are so far superior to the vast
majority of the horror/thriller/suspense movies that are churned out by
the hundreds these days that you'd be denying yourself the chance to
see an intelligent, thought-provoking, not unbelievable, suspenseful
film if you passed on it for that reason.
It is, psychologically, dark; and there are a few scenes of torture - but they aren't gratuitous and they aren't gratuitously gory. They are essential to advancing the plot and developing the characters; and most of the violence is implied, not shown. If you're looking for torture porn, you'll be disappointed.
The plot twists are interesting, atypical, and believable, and the movie has something significant and thought-provoking to say about the human condition. The characters (with the exception of Melissa George's) are written with moral complexity, and all of the acting (including Ms. George's) is top-notch.
It's a shame this didn't get a theatrical release in the U.S. Judging from the disappointment of torture-porn fans, my guess is that it was not well-marketed.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
An excellent thriller. I took a very nice surprise with it, 15 October 2009
Author: collipal-1 from Argentina
I was not very interested in watching WAZ, because the plot summary
sounded as another poor rehash of Seven and Saw.However, I took a huge
surprise with this film.WAZ ended up being an excellent thriller, and
although it shares a few elements with them, I think it is a big
mistake to say it is a rehash of Seven and Saw.
The screenplay from WAZ is truly brilliant.Recent "torture-porn" films (like The Strangers, Saw V or Captivity) bored me very much, because they do not endorse the torture scenes with a solid screenplay.Fortunately, WAZ endorses its brutal violence with interesting characters and a very intelligent story which reflects about some fascinating topics.And, because of that narrative complexity, the torture scenes have a much bigger emotional impact than almost all the others "torture-porn" thrillers.Besides, this movie has an ingenious twist at the end which does not leave any plot holes and closes the story perfectly.
Stellan Skarsgård and Melissa George bring great performances.They both show a good level of intensity, and they are very involved on their characters, so they result very credible.Pity these two perfect performances went completely unnoticed.
I really did not expect to like this movie so much.WAZ is an excellent (not to mention very underrated) thriller which deserves an enthusiastic recommendation, with the warning that the scenes of violence may result too intense for some people.I took a huge surprise with this film.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Love/Hate, 27 August 2008
Author: matt-2483 from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unfortunately, I'm afraid this film is destined not to receive the
acclaim it fully deserves. Don't watch this film if you are easily put
off by sexual violence. Having said that though - I watched the film
with my wife & 18yr old niece (both of whom I would describe as
sensitive individuals), & they were both impressed with the film whose
18 certificate serves only really to protect from it's sensitive
subject matter & is not an indication of overtly graphic violence/gore.
We gave the DVD a go one afternoon, not really knowing what to expect. Although the conditions were not what i'd normally regard as conducive to 'horror' viewing (sun creeping through closed curtains), the film instantly had me hooked with the underlying tension which is apparent even from the beginning, and builds right up to it's revealing climax. The whole 'WAZ' equation theory almost becomes insignificant.
OK, so you might see the twists & turns coming a long way off, but for me that doesn't affect the film in the slightest. What really makes the film is it's dark simplicity, brilliant direction & solidly real performances from a non-A-list cast. This film is for me what SAW always promised to be but got lost in it's pursuit of 'ever more creative ways to die'. WAZ isn't an in your face gore-fest with fantastically OTT special effects on a massive budget. It's so much more than that - A dark, gritty, highly atmospheric thriller with a dose of real emotion!
You will love it or hate it! I hope it's the prior.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Transcending Torture, 26 January 2010
Author: Jonny_Numb from Hellfudge, Pennsylvania
When taking a chance on a sight-unseen, used DVD, my expectations are usually fairly reflective of the few bucks I shell out for it. "The Killing Gene," while boasting a fine cast, struck me as nothing more than another blurb-happy, sledgehammer obvious entry in the Dimension 'Extreme' line of hit-or-miss horrors. After having watched it, all I can say is...holy hell. Obviously targeting the audiences that made "Saw" and "Hostel" the New Torture Vanguard (one of the box blurbs directly references the former, not without accuracy), "The Killing Gene"--despite some transparently derivative elements pulled from the genre--comes very close to trouncing its competition. Remember that moment near the end of "Saw" when Cary Elwes does the unthinkable with the titular tool? Well, imagine that degree of gritty intensity stretched out over the course of 102 nerve-shredding minutes, and you have a good idea of what to expect here. Stellan Skarsgard (bearing an uncanny resemblance to Donald Pleasence) plays a homicide detective investigating a string of torture-murders with novice cop Melissa George; suspicions are running that the killer is targeting a group of vile gang members out of revenge for an equally hideous crime (which I won't reveal here; it's a truly horrifying scene). Clive Bradley's script doesn't use the torture angle as a mere marketable throwaway, nor does it treat the characters as meat for the machine; there is a surprising amount of development here, to the point where our sympathies and doubts become one and the same. From a visual standpoint, director Tom Shankland ("The Children") uses jerky digital video and claustrophobic close-ups to convey a sense of urgency within a decaying urban nightmare from which all hope has been drained (this could very well be the most squalid metropolis since David Fincher's "Se7en"). As an unapologetic, unashamed horror fan, I often find myself sitting through garbage that isn't worth the DVD it's pressed on, which makes something like "The Killing Gene" all the more refreshing. Yes, there are some parts you'll feel as though you've seen before; but damned if the overall experience doesn't leave you shaken and adequately disturbed afterward. (It also bears noting that this R-rated film contains some of the most unglamorous, boundary-pushing violence in recent memory.)
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