Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fugue (2010)

Fear 5/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

I love the types of films that have you completely hooked and bought into what the filmmaker is initially presenting only to have it do a complete 180, flying in out of left field and smacking you over the head. Fugue is no exception and it's a brilliant example of how misdirection and a little sneakiness by the filmmaker can make for an awe inspiring film watching experience.

The film starts with a young couple moving into their new home. It's not long before the wife (Charlotte) begins hearing and seeing things. I know what you're thinking 'I've seen this before and it's every haunted house film ever made.' Stay with me.

What starts as thumps and bumps in the night along with finding some strange artifacts around the home, our story turns into a full-on supernatural haunt as a female presence makes herself known to Charlotte. And it's made very clear that she isn't happy with her being in her home. The thing that I appreciated most about how the filmmaker handles this presence is the fact that we aren't given the usual tropes associated with this sub-genre of horror. Yes there are thumps and bumps but there are plenty of times where our lead is standing in front of a mirror and nothing happens or she's shown sleeping in bed and nothing happens. This preys on the mind of the viewer and it plays to such great effect. When the presence makes itself physically known, it's in broad daylight. And it's handled in such a way that it made it more terrifying than if it had taken place at any other time.

So anyways, we come to learn that Charlotte was involved in an accident not too long ago where she was in a coma for a short period of time. The husband initially plays off the strange occurances as a side effect of her accident (visible scars are seen and prove it). But even though he shrugs it off, she wants to now more about what actually happened. And as she goes deeper and deeper into an obvious cover up by her husband, we come to find out just what it is that haunts her and why her husband chose to implement this intricate ruse.

I know I'm being fairly vague and its not without purpose. You really need to experience this film. It flows from the supernatural to the very real in a seemless manner and in the hands of someone less capable, the film would fall totally flat. Because of that, I must give a huge credit to filmmaker Barbara Stepansky. She knows how to weave an intricate tale and successfully change direction without the end product suffering whatsoever. When the grand reveal occurs and our brutal climax hits, the viewer is left completely breathless. Easily, this makes my top 10 list of 2011 and we aren't even a full 3 months in.

Cortez the Killer


Emily said...

Great review and one I wholeheartedly agree with!

Mrs. Hall said...

Fugue is a clinical term i use. well, have used only once. it indicates a time when people are dissociated but functioning. kind of like a drunken black out but they aren't drunk.

they just sort of lose consciousness but are still conscious. they still eat, drink, talk, but don't remember doing any of it. they lose time as it were.

it's usually triggered by remembering some horrific trauma. only they can't process the trauma, can't stand even beginning to remember it. so they just escape into their mind.

yeah. my job is working with such people. good times.

it's all crazy.

will check this film out!

Cortez The Killer said...

@Emily, thank! It's a phenomenal film.

@Mrs. Hall, that bit of detail was described in the film and definitely plays into Charlotte's 'predicament.' Thanks for the additional context! Definitely check it out. Can't wait to read your thoughts.

B-Movie Becky said...

I've heard nothing but great things about Fugue. I hope I get a chance to see it; do you know anything about a release? I have it "saved" on Netflix.

Lately, I've been missing subtle movies that rely on misdirection. This seems like it might satiate that craving.