Saturday, August 1, 2020

Three Films Make A Post: 7 Directors. 7 Tales of Terror. 0 Working Cell Phones.

Scare Package (2019): In part, my dislike for this 7-segment omnibus movie is not the film’s fault. I’m not the biggest fan of meta comedies at the best of times, so the film’s meta tendencies would not have been ideal for me at the best of times. However, my problem with this particular film isn’t that the humour is meta, but that it is that lazy kind of meta that does little else than point at a trope, go “har-har, look at that trope!” and then not actually does anything of interest with that discovery, certainly nothing that will provide you with any kind of insight into the whys and wherefores of a trope, leaving it at the pointing out of that fascinating fact that a trope indeed does exist, and it will now subvert it by, um, pointing at it. Also, aren’t jokes supposed to be funny?

The Deeper You Dig (2019): Now, this sort of thing on the other hand warms the cockles of my stony heart, what with it being made by a mother-father-daughter trio (Toby Poser, John Adams and Zelda Adams) from the Catskills making their very own indie horror film together. It’s a tale of guilt and revenge from the grave with a big element of the surreal and the Weird, creating just the right mood of strangeness out of snow and found locations. It ends on a wonderfully macabre note, with a perfectly fucked-up happy end much superior to your usual horror bullshit happy ending.

It’s indie horror, so you’ll have to live with pacing that’s sometimes just a bit slow (ending scenes is always a bit of a problem in this area of the art), and some strained acting in the minor roles, but the rest of this is so creative and convincing, these really are only minor flaws.

Filth (2013): And then there’s this pretty insane and messed up bit of very Scottish crime filmmaking based on a novel by Irvine Welsh. The film does a lot of what one is tempted to call stunt filmmaking with an unreliable narrator perfectly played by James McAvoy in one of his best performances, incessant breaking of the Fourth Wall, and scenes that may or may not be dream sequences, but does it so well this feels like the most sensible way to tell this particular tale, perhaps the only way to understand the broken mind of its protagonist.

For the film also manages something very difficult extremely well: showing us a terrible human being doing terrible things, but also showing us his pain and suffering as a fellow human being, his suffering from mental illness, causing compassion for a man without ever wanting to use our empathy to excuse him.

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