We find ourselves roaming lost in a place where hope and light are absent. A place which seems both so dark and distant, yet too familiar, our sanity begins to fade. We've become absorbed ...
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We find ourselves roaming lost in a place where hope and light are absent. A place which seems both so dark and distant, yet too familiar, our sanity begins to fade. We've become absorbed into a reality that may exist elsewhere... or nowhere at all.Written by
Borrows the delivery but totally forgets that it works best when the viewer is drawn in, not rolling away laughing
Just before the title card for this film, barely 2 minutes into its 16 minute running time and I had already been made to feel so incredibly unnerved that I turned my chair so that I no longer had my back to the only door in the room. I wondered to myself 'how am I going to cope with 14 more minutes like this?' and I really meant it. I say that as someone who watched Fire Walk with Me when I was in my late teens and found it intensely frightening and unnerving to the point that, now in my late 30's (jesus) I still consider it one of the most frightening films I have seen. The reason for this is that I hate/love the films that deliver the odd, the unnerving, the half-seen rather than gore and for this reason 8 Butterflies really had my attention from the very start.
Problem is that it lost it really quickly after that a short while. In the opening sequence you can draw the viewer in without substance but delivering this style, but if you want them with you for longer then you have to actually have a bit of substance. Instead, this film repeats the same tricks and techniques that it has seen others do and pushes them for all they are worth. In some ways it does this very well because the director clearly knows what works in other films in terms of shots, soundtrack, images – but it seems this is all he knows (fortunately that was 3 things otherwise I would have had an Aqua Teen Hunger Force reference here). Without anything of actual substance of the viewer to attach to, we are only cosmetically affected by the film's tricks – and this only lasts so far.
By the mid-point as the techniques have included a "creepy goat in a church" which then has a jump-close-up with overlaid fire effects I was really very far from worrying that anything would come in through the door behind me. There are many other choices in the constantly delivery of style/technique that are badly made and unfortunately they had the effect of pushing me out of the film and, in some cases, actually laughing out loud. It is a shame because there is such good examples of technique in here, but with no substance and constant focus on style, the film overstretches one aspect and offers nothing on the other. The end result is a film that starts with a great 2-3 minute but laughably goes downhill from there – and I say that as someone who is a sucker for things like this but yet I will sleep like a baby tonight. David Lynch makes it look easy, this film proves it isn't.
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