Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Last night I watched this...

is kind of a hard film to describe. I suppose it's an art house relationship drama that takes place inside a horror film. With a suitably gooey monster. And explosions. I absolutely loved it.

I have no idea how it got made to the standard it did. There's no way to pitch it as a commercial film. I suppose you can describe it as a straightforward horror film like they do on the DVD blurb - man thinks wife is having an affair, turns out she's having an affair with a tentacled Lovecraftian monster. But anyone investing money into the project had to have read the script, which I can only imagine is just as crazy as the film. In my limited experience every time I've ever added a line or a moment to a script that's a little offbeat or a tiny bit avant-garde I've had to fight for it, and nine times out of ten those moments will get cut. This is a genre film that ticks all the boxes a good horror film should yet still manages to be incredibly strange and challenging.

At the same time I can't imagine art house investors getting behind the unapologetic splatter and horror movie iconography either. But somehow it got made and I only wish I knew how to get films like this funded.

Horror films and genre films in general are so tied to their formulas now it's really refreshing to see something that really turns the genre on its head and does something interesting with it. In one of the DVD extras director Andrzej Zulawski described using genre as a mask to present one kind of story as another. Most of the filmmakers whose work I really respect do some kind of variation of the same thing - Miike Takashi did it with
Audition, as did Lars von Trier with Antichrist. I'm not saying all horror films should have an art house streak, but I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the idea that some films are for thinking about and some are just for fun. There's a place in the middle where interesting things happen. Things like this...

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