Thursday, November 15, 2012
*Disclaimer: this isn't entertaining in a play with puppy dogs or frolic in the fields with lollipops kind of way.
From the French word thanatomorphose
def. The visible signs of an organism's decomposition caused by death.
I'm fortunate to have met many a fine folk while writing for this interwebs blog. And I'm also fortunate to be friends with a group of bloggers who share with me some of the best indie horror films out there and I vice versa. Like me, they weed through the good and the bad so that you don't have to. So when Chris over at The Conduit said that Thanatomorphose is one you have to check out and it's also one of the sickest movies he's ever seen, well needless to say I knew that he meant business. Warning: this one isn't for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. In fact, there have only been a handful of films that have ever made me physically ill. Thanatomorphose is one of them.
Right off the bat, the film has a voyeuristic quality about it. A filming from a dark corner of the room or through the cracks of a closet's shades type of a feeling to it. This quality gives a sense of realism to our proceedings and makes you (the viewer) feel as a though you're a complicit participant to it all. The story itself, centers on a young woman who has become nothing more than a play toy to a physically and emotionally abusive boyfriend. From sex to shaming her in front of her friends, there really isn't a regard for her physical or emotional well being at all.
One morning, she awakens and finds a strange bruise on her right arm but doesn't think much of it at first. She then goes about her day which reveals even more disappointment in her life. She comes home from work to read some sort of rejection letter that's presumably tied to her love of sculpture. Backgrounds and motives are not delved into too deeply with our characters throughout the course of the film. Rather all inferences are gathered more from action and deed. And some startling images which infer a very cracked psyche with our main character.
Things get progressively worse for her as increased bruising then gives way to finger nails falling off and violent vomiting. For the last 45 minutes or so of the film, it's all about this woman deteriorating right before our very eyes. It's an unrelenting mess as we bear witness to bodily fluids being excreted or limbs falling off. But why exactly is she deteriorating? What is it that's causing her body to transform itself? This film will not only attack your soul but also your head. For me, the way that she carried herself as this person who was just so meek and subservient to any and all desires and who allowed herself to be both physically and emotionally abused, all gave way to her body just giving up. Almost as though her body was rebelling against her, saying 'Enough is enough.' It's not until our closing moments, before it ends in a goopy, grotesque mess, that she actually takes action on something.
This isn't gore for gore sake or horror as art or political statement masquerading as one (*cough* A Serbian Film *cough*). Thanatomorphose is an engrossing experience that will mess with your brain and tug at your lower intestines. You've been warned.
Cortez the Killer