I was underwhelmed with the whole “Surprise Movie” at this year’s festival. Much like I was underwhelmed with “Pathology” at the first festival. Probably it’s not my cup of tea, but I rarely enjoyed slasher films. However, it was an interesting take on the subject and although she was uncompromising, I could somehow understands that it could happen to anyone. Not that I had wished it, of course, but whatever she was doing, was within my reasoning of ‘human’ despite the graphic violence. The gore, when it happens, happens bad, but the film was structured in a way that you don’t have to sit through all the gory details in one sitting and this, actually made the film a bit bearable and a little more interesting.
The film begins with a CCTV footage of an Apartment. And then we see someone in a cap slips through the apartment’s door, approaches the sleeping guard, and placed a tightening cable around his neck and strangled him. We see, in a graphic patient shot as the guard tried to cut the cable from his neck with a cutter. Of course, he cuts too deep and as the result, (again shown with a close-up, detailed, and a patient shot) slit his own carotid artery that causes massive hemorrhaging. It was bloody, and intended to shock. Quite an opening, if you asked me.
Of why I found the film a bit underwhelming was because the film receives an unnecessary attention with its gory details. Oh, sure, this is probably one of the bloodiest film I’ve seen. But the matter of execution, so to speak, wasn’t something that I’ve never seen before. However, I do liked the way the film narrated and I do take a special interest with the murderer’s motivation. Not that I’m condoning it in any way, but more because I do believe that someone could be pushed thus far and do something within the vicinity depicted in this film. Taken at its essence, this film is after all, merely accentuates to what happened when people want something and had wanted it bad enough.
There are some familiar face, but as I had never really immerse in Hong Kong cinema, none of the actors are truly familiar. Besides, as it was true to any slasher film, what matters the most is the killer. The victims were just props. There’s one death that made me uncomfortable though, and I had expected the filmmaker to went an extra mile to disturb us further. Fortunately, he’s not and anyway, if he had gone that extra mile, the killer’s motive would be no more than just a lunatic excuse and the film won’t be this interesting to watch in my point of view. Besides the killer is as vulnerable as the victims.
I overheard people analyze the film after it had ended. They over-analyze it because really, it’s not much more to what had been given anyway. Although, actually the ending voice over had made me smile for the irony. But that’s it.
My rating: ** / **** – Decent. The film put an extra attention to the bodily fluid excrement. Understandable. But nothing really new there. I had seen them someway or another somewhere. What I appreciate is the way it spreads across the running time and given an interesting context to which the character did what was on screen.