Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Low (2011)

Fear 2/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 2/5

Low is a great example of what can be accomplished on a shoestring budget, with a handful of people, and one serious single minded determination to film something quickly and efficiently. It was filmed in just a few short weeks and the end product looks a lot better than most Hollywood productions. Of course, you need a good film on top of all of that and Low succeeds for the most part. It's a great thriller but one that I felt ultimately lacked in emotional 'oomph.'

Our story centers on a young woman who's trying to make a quick entry and exit into a secluded hillside area near her English residence. After she buries a small box in the ground, she heads back but before making it out onto the open road, a look of guilt comes over her and she decides to turn around.

Before she can get back to the spot where she buried her little box, she comes across a middle aged man. She quickly turns and walks in the opposite direction but the man catches up with her, offering politely to walk with alongside and keep her company. But she's clearly not interested in his offer and is more than a little creeped out. However, he's a persistent little bugger, she relents, and begins to chat with the him.

Things turn from more than just informal chit chat to deeply sinister and dark as the man reveals to the young woman what it is he's done and why he was in the same secluded area as her. As he reveals the terrible thing he's done it isn't done so in a cathartic way but more to draw out what it is she's hiding and her purpose for being in the same area as him. You see he knows she's hiding an awful secret and has the same propensity for doing evil things as him.

Histories soon start to reveal themselves and we learn about the back stories of both individuals and how they came to be twisted in their own unique ways. I won't play spoiler here but things come to a head when he brings her hidden secret out into the open and makes her confront it. And things end in deadly fashion as one of them resorts to violence to get what they want out of the other.

The main problem for me lies in the fact that our remaining character's redemption (if you will) doesn't make sense given the horrible and completely selfish thing they've done. They aren't deserving of the end which befalls them and are certainly not fit for what it is they've been given a second chance at. For me, this weakens the overall effort and it just doesn't sit right. I know I'm being totally vague here but it isn't without purpose.

Regardless, Low is a really well made film and its definitely worth checking out. The ending might sit better for you than me and it will no doubt get people talking. I can't wait to see what comes next for British filmmaker Ross Shepherd. A remarkable piece of work even if I didn't particularly care for the ending.

Cortez the Killer

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