I wouldn't normally review a film I've only seen half of. My first reaction to this was in my summary title: "Unwatchable". It appears I'm not alone in thinking this, because so far nobody else has reviewed it at all. Until then, half will have to do.
I actually take films very seriously. However bad a film is, I feel a kind of obligation to the director at least to sit through it to the end. So it's very rare for me actually to abandon a film half way through. Sometimes, late at night, I doze off; but even then, I usually think "I must give that another go some time", though of course sometimes I never get round to it. So I didn't just switch this off. I fast-forwarded to see if anything was going to change. Nothing did.
Why is this film unwatchable? It isn't unwatchable because it's frightening, or harrowing, or "transgressive". It's unwatchable because of the sheer blistering incompetence of the film-makers.
The film is all blurred and out of focus, and so poorly lit that even in supposed daylight (though most of it takes place in one of those zero-budget abandoned warehouse sets that has no natural light anyway), the characters' faces are frequently entirely obscured in shadow. Not that that makes a lot of difference, as the cast's acting skills are rudimentary to say the least. Half the time (well, a quarter! - I'm extrapolating....) you can't even work out what's going on.
Someone with more technical knowledge than me could probably tell you what equipment they shot it on. I haven't a clue. All I know is I get ten times better results from my own home camcorder played back through my TV, shot without any lighting including at night and in caves and with no skill on my part whatsoever. It's just a bog standard high street-bought camcorder, except that it's HD, but then I think most are nowadays.
I don't understand how this can happen. I don't understand how anyone could not look at the very first rushes and not say "look, we need to start again with better equipment". The final bitter joke is that in the credits this film boasts a "Director of Cinematography". Normally one would say reflexively "don't give up the day job", but on this occasion, I wouldn't be convinced even that was appropriate. They'd probably need to be trained even to flip burgers.
And that's just thinking about the silly little boys who made this film. What about the distribution company, who presumably saw this, transferred it to DVD, and packaged it and marketed it? These, I'm assuming, were adults. Why did this just not go straight in the trash bin?
What's the film about? Oh, you know, nasty juvenile misogynist torture porn, but done without even any skill or conviction. True enough, I should have known better even at the bargain bin price I paid for this, but even on zero budget, it might be possible to say something worthwhile about the psychopathology of misogyny or the dynamics of resistance, but you won't find it in this film. Bizarrely, even if this is your sort of "thing" (and if so, I'm not sure I want to meet you, and especially I don't want to shake your hand) it's unlikely to do the job for you.
There are bad films and bad films, and for many different reasons. I often think it's the big budget mainstream disasters that are the worst films of all because so many more resources (money, talent) have been squandered. But of its sort, this is certainly a candidate for one of the worst films ever made. Not heroically bad. Not hilariously bad. Just incompetently, unwatchably bad, and grubby with it.
Now you know why nobody else has reviewed it.
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