Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Outtake Reel (2010)
Outtake Reel is a film that clearly has its sights set on the horror genre. It questions the notion of horror as a thought provoking art form and if it has any place within a genre that celebrates sex, gore and not a whole lot by way of substance. It's shot with a found footage-like feel but the device isn't pounded over your head (i.e. herky jerky cameras, extreme close-ups, etc.). Overall, the film does leave the viewer with some things to ponder but it's the clunky conclusion which leaves a bit to be desired.
An FBI agent introduces us to a film that has been put together which we are about to see. The spliced film, as it's explained, shows the last remaining days of a horror scream queen who's in the middle of her latest production. As we begin to watch the film we're introduced to an extremely opinionated genre director and the oddball character who's tasked with filming the production.
Our goofy camerman, named Danny, follows the daily production much to the dismay of the filmmaker. But he endears himself to him with his persistance and comedic relief. As his capturing of the production continues, we come to see that he isn't just a bystander. Rather, he's influencing the production, putting into the ear of the lead actress the notion that she is deserving of a horror film that is so much more. Namely, the exact opposite of the kind that our more story and character driven director is seeking to make: one full of blood, boobs and gore.
The camerman, after having made a stop at Home Depot, kidnaps the lead actress and brings her back to his house. The director is invited over and our cameraman reveals to him what he plans to do. I don't want to spoil what happens next but our filmmaker goes against what he stands for and becomes an active participant in the type of film that our cameraman is attempting to make. And the main question being pointed to us, as this filmmaker turns his back on what he stands for, is this what we really want as genre fans? And to a larger extent, is this the type of film that filmmakers should focus on to make a buck?
I mentioned the awkward ending which for me, really was a disconnect compared to the rest of the film. Namely, the character of Danny and his transition from goofy camerman to a sinister, scheming, force, twisting the hand of our filmmaker to commit heinous acts. It doesn't happen in a really natural way thus when it happens, it just doesn't seem within his character to do so. There is no natural progression and it just seems completely out of character. Thus, the larger point and question being made feels a little forced.
Regardless, Outtake Reel is an original piece of filmmaking and actually has a point to its madness. That is something that can't be said for about 99% of genre fare being served to us these days. It's certainly worth a look.
Cortez the Killer