The 'Blood and Sand' review is obviously written by a featured actor or maybe director. This movie is not worth your time.
Memento Mori (II) (2018)
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Blood and Sand
15 April 2019
Belgian director Michael Vermaercke created his debut feature as an ambitious horror / coming of age drama for a budget of only 150.000 EUR (about 170.000 USD). A coma patient, the 17-year old fleur (Charlotte de Wulf) has to review the disturbing circumstances that led to her being in hospital. On one hand, it is nothing but a wild party that went haywire, Fleur's boyfriend Jules pressing her hard to have sex with her, finding her reluctant and inhibited. On the other hand - well, one may never be sure. Vermaercke uses different techniques to turn his movie surrealistic, disturbing, terrifying, and quite enigmatic. Whatever happened to baby Fleur? Little signs like a license plate "LSD 666" suggests a trip directly to hell, and m mysterious vamp (Tine Roggeman) not only may be Fleur's dark side, but also an apocalyptic character for she asks Jules to "confess his sins, before it's to late". The sand in an hourglass is not only associated with "the black death" (coming as a skeleton to a young woman, carrying the hourglass), but also with Fleur's dying. The blood, of course, with her defloration. Will, as Vermaercke told me on a German film festival, the fact that Fleur cannot have sex be a matter of life and death to her? There were many filmmakers, who used the symbolism of blood, knives, doors in a sexual connotation, some of the best among them (like, for example, Alfred Hitchcock). "Memento Mori" may be influenced by them (I thought of "Carrie" in the 1976 version, some critics named David Lynch and "The Neon Demon"), but his film stands for itself. You can see it again and again, every time discovering new signs and trying new interpretations. For the moment, it may only be sure that a definite explanation does not exist. Vermaercke is more interested in the human mind than in reality, or to be more exact, he seems to think that the mind is the more important "reality", which is also made clear by a Marcus Aurelius quote at the beginning. This film does not give easy answers. But it has so much to offer. I rate it as almost perfect, 9 from 10 stars - maybe the electronic soundtrack is a bit too repetitive. But well, no hard feelings, this is far better than an all-too perfect blockbuster movie. Not to be overlooked and worth being watched by more than some festival-goers and horror buffs.