|Index||3 reviews in total|
The plot was predictable and clearly not given much thought. It should have been good: The two lead characters were easy to like and empathise with, the acting was good, the music was atmospheric and the effects and make-up were great. However, the film was incredibly dull. I forced myself to finish watching it despite being so bored I wanted to turn it off. There was no mystery, there was no suspense and there were no scares. It comes across like the person who wrote this had an idea that they decided to jot down in their five minute tea break and somehow it got made into a movie. Don't waste your time watching this. This film proves that it doesn't matter how good every other aspect of a movie is if the plot is weak.
I tried to like this film, I really did. Beautiful setting, inspired old school plotting, a certain nasty spirit, Christopher Roth should have been a winner. Instead, it's a bizarre exercise in how a film can screw up despite having all the right elements on surface. It tells the distinctly giallo style tale of Christopher Roth, a writer of gruesome crime novels who holidays to Umbria as he searches for inspiration to go beyond his regular work which he fears is taking its toll on his psyche. Unfortunately the region is plagued by a grim serial killer nicknamed "The Boar" It's a good set up, but really becomes mouth watering when one notes that the make up effects are handled by Italian horror veteran Gianetto De Rossi. And yet, after a decent enough build up, nearly everything goes pear shaped. About the only aspect that consistently holds up is the acting, Joaquim De Almeida squeezes every inch of interest out of the underwritten title role, Anna Galiena apt as his caring yet at times confused and on edge wife. Ben Gazzara has a neat cameo as Christopher's agent, Francesco Guzzo has the right mixture of welcome and shiftiness as a local, while most notable is Jessica Bonnani as a dark, sultry local daughter, she truly draws the eye with tantalising presence. Its just a shame that the film gives them little to do, the writing is confused about plot and themes, revelations are rushed and motivations fumbled. Potential interest dissipates into the ether as events roll on and the film loses grip, but the worst sin is to come. As mentioned, this film has a veteran on make up effects, it also slots into a genre fabled for audacious violence. Yet, there is only one gore scene of note here, as most are either poorly lit or directed. Director Maxime Alexandre has a background in cinematography so it's unforgivable that the lighting is weak enough to spoil much of the gore, he also shoots violence too tightly so the viewer can hardly even get satisfaction by really peering into the dark. He at least shoots the location well though, which is something. I got the feeling by the end that I might have been missing something, I paid attention throughout, but the film feels sketchy, as if there were too much editing going on, things just about make sense but none of it really gels. By the halfway mark I was worried this was going to turn out bad, it rallies for a few gnarly scenes and has a bit of a nasty edge that is enough for me to be generous, but basically by the end I was pretty ticked off by this one. Something to skip I'd say, unfortunately..
Christopher Roth is a crime/horror author who is going through a
creative crisis. He's been writing about the same for 20 years. He's
ready for a change and wants to write about more romantic things. His
publisher sends him and his wife on vacation so he can get back to what
he knows best. One thing that troubles Roth the most is the line
between imagination and reality.
The Roths go to a small town in Italy separated from others and without phone signal. They take a walk through the woods and find themselves in the middle of boar hunt. That allows them to meet some of the locals. One of them is particular friendlu, he also has a creepy daughter.
But there's also a killer on the loose in the area, known as the boar. He likes to place his naked victims in some artistic poses. He contacts Roth, who is admired by everyone in town.
Finally Roth finds himself in the spot of the victim and meets the killer. The identity of the killer is somewhat of a surprise and he ends up explaining himself and his motivations.
Not a whole lot happens during the first hour of Christopher Roth. During the final 30 minutes things get more violent and bloody. The main weakness of this movie is the pace. It's all sooo slow. The second weakness is the darkness of the picture and how the violence is filmed. It's hard to tell what is going on. The story I guess is overall alright. The movie could have used an intro kill, several more kills throughout the movie. Perhaps an intro showing some of the relevant background of the killer because in a way he comes out of nowhere. There is plenty of full frontal male nudity for some reason and a bit of female nudity. This movie could have been so much better. It has a budget, technical skill to some extent, decent acting, but it needed more story, a quicker pace and a more competent director.
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