A young woman named Clara is captured by a serial killer named Leonard who records his "life story" by keeping a scrapbook of his many victims. In addition to adhering Polaroids, scraps of ...
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A young woman named Clara is captured by a serial killer named Leonard who records his "life story" by keeping a scrapbook of his many victims. In addition to adhering Polaroids, scraps of clothing, and other small trophies to the pages, Leonard has forced his victims to personally write in the scrapbook about their individual ordeals. Clara is beaten, raped, starved, and locked up like an animal, filthy and naked. She is forced to write in the scrapbook, adding her agony to the pages. She soon realizes that her only hope for survival is to manipulate Leonard through her writings in his cherished scrapbook.Written by
Its a little hard to write a review of a film like Scrapbook. Its not that it has me especially conflicted or unsure (I enjoyed it) its just that its rather difficult to qualify ones enjoyment of what is really nothing more than a near plot free exercise in unpleasantness. Its pretty much a two hander, the tale of Leonard and Clara, Leonard being a jabbering lunatic into the whole kidnap/rape/kill bit, Clara being his latest victim. There are a couple of other folk, but they aren't really around for long and one is superfluous to all intents and purposes. Being a two hander, performances and chemistry are pretty much the essentials and whilst the film has problems in these areas it manages to pull through with one great turn and just about enough nastiness to keep things moving. Emily Haack as Clara is the great performer here, fearlessly throwing herself into her characters plight she is convincing in her degradation and naturally sympathetic. Tommy Biondo is somewhat less successful as Leonard, he nails the brutal and pathetic jerk sense of the character, but is generally too over the top to be much of a figure of fear or especially convincing as a killer, moreover the film itself does little to develop his character. Lack of development is the greatest general problem with the film actually, there isn't anything going on outside of the situation at hand but neither character has any real depth and the most potentially interesting aspect of the film (that would be Leonard's penchant for keeping records via a scrapbook of his victims last thoughts and a few taped in souvenirs) is brought up and more or less let down, becoming important only in the climax. This all combines with the overstretched length to make for a fairly patchy watch, at nearly 95 minutes things simply take too long and a bit of judicious pruning would have really boosted the general effect. The film does somewhat overcome the mentioned problems through sheer force of meanness though, Clara really goes through hell with humiliating nudity, some rough simulated rape shenanigans and a standout scene performed for real. The ending is decently twisted as well, a fine capper. None of which really qualifies Scrapbook as a "good" film, but it does well in terms of down 'n dirty exploitative goods, which were what I was looking for, in fact all I was looking for in watching it. And when a film does what it sets out to do, thats praiseworthy in my book. All in all I had a decent time with this one but I seem to be one of the few, its definitely offputting and pretty hard to recommend. I'd say its worth a look if you dig the cinematic territory as its bright spots are pretty impressive, but still something to approach with a bit of care.
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