The employees of a Croatian marketing agency are forced by their new boss to go on a team building weekend in the forests. Nothing turn out as expected, and the employees find themselves ... See full summary »
The employees of a Croatian marketing agency are forced by their new boss to go on a team building weekend in the forests. Nothing turn out as expected, and the employees find themselves desperately battling each other as well as an unknown threat to their lives. Written by
The best thing that can be said about this movie is that it is completely unlike anything filmed in Croatia so far. Croatian cinematography is almost without exception old-fashioned, clichéd and just plain awful. "Forest Creatures" (or "uma summarum" which is its original title) is something completely different. It's a horror/thriller/dark comedy/allegory in certain aspects very similar to typical slasher movies and in others a rather peculiar oddity. It's exciting, it's funny, it's full of surprises and it's probably one of the most politically and ethically incorrect movies you will ever see. The movie literally has no constraints, and often you will catch yourself thinking "come on... they will not go there, surely" only to see that they will not only go there, but go a few steps beyond, too.
The story? Well, it shares a few superficial similarities with "Severance" and "Southern Comfort" but then again the way the situation is dealt with is unlike anything seen in those movies. Anyway, staff of a marketing agency goes on a rafting/paintball team-building weekend... and things go somewhat wrong, to put it mildly (and avoid spoilers). The movie literally throws the viewer headfirst in the plot from the get-go - certain part of the story has already happened, relationships between characters are established (but will gradually be uncovered to the viewer) and the director is not above throwing a few brilliant red herrings on the way. A few times movie will fake that it will now from that point onward follow a more normal, conventional course - only to throw you another curve-ball from the left field. Do not expect the movie to follow established Hollywood rules, too, there are no taboos to be avoided or clichés to be followed here, literally no one is safe and everything is fair game.
Not all is great, though. It might be said that the movie really goes *too* far occasionally, and that it often reaches the realm of exaggerated absurdities. It also often seems to have one plot thread or one character too many. But if you decide not to take it seriously, odds are you will enjoy it, even if you are watching a subtitled version in which a certain portion of the humor will be lost in translation.
The problem is, however, that odds are you will NOT see this movie. Sadly, Croatian national television has pulled the funding when they realized what kind of movie this is, and the creators barely scraped up enough funds to finish the movie and create a measly amount of theater copies. There was no money for almost any marketing whatsoever, and the movie played so briefly in local theaters when the word-of-mouth started to spread it was already gone. There are no plans for a DVD version, too, also due to severe lack of funding, which means that this little gem of Croatian cinematography could conceivably be lost. Which is a terrible, terrible shame.
Anyway, if you are a fan of slasher movies, of dark comedies, enjoy daring politically incorrect humor or simply like to be shocked, try to find this movie any way you can. You will not be disappointed, or if not that, you will almost definitely not be bored. Just try not to take it too seriously.
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