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Amer 2009

3.2 out of 5 stars (16) IMDb 6.3/10

Inspired by the 'giallo' films of the 1970s, this French feature observes a girl, Ana, during three sensuous periods of her life. The first storyline follows a childhood Ana as she lives through a night in the house where her grandfather has recently passed away, and where her grandmother is performing rituals to guarantee his safe passage.

Starring:
Harry Cleven, Jean-Michel Vovk, Cassandra For?t
Runtime:
1 hour, 26 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, International, Gay, Lesbian & Transgender, Horror
Director Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring Harry Cleven, Jean-Michel Vovk, Cassandra For?t, Delphine Brual
Supporting actors Charlotte Eug?ne Guibeaud, Marie Bos, Bernard Marbaix, Bianca Maria D'Amato
Studio Starz Digital Media
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Amer follows three stages in a young womans life. The first third as a little girl haunted by the strange old woman living at her house (either a relative or housekeeper) and is reminiscent of argento classics inferno and suspiria in terms of the hallucinatory atmosphere. In the second act we see Amer as a nubile young teenage girl, attracting the attention of the local men in a sequence that plays a lot like european classics such as Valerie and her week of wonders, while the third act follows the now paranoid and sexually demented Amer alone in her decaying family home stalked by a would-be rapist and a black gloved starnger with a straight razor, in sequeces clearly influenced by classic giallo (the soundtacks to which amer uses throughout to great effect)
I caught this film at the Grim up north film festival and loved it, but its worth pointing out it managed to divide the audience nearly in two. Theres no real PLOT to amer, its more a hallucinatory surrealistic psychological character study of a young womans breakdown made by someone clearly a fan of euro-horror. The lack of any strong narrative perhaps alienated the audience somewhat and Amer is certainly one to approach with caution but as a euro horror fan I loved it and will certainly be buying it about the best comparisons I can think of for this film are footprints Footprints [DVD] [1974] Baba Yaga [1973] [DVD] Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Remastered edition) [1970] [DVD] and perhaps suspiria Suspiria [1976] 2 Disc Special Edition [DVD]
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
***CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS***

This is a very odd art movie. I knew going in that there would be no story worth speaking about, and that it was split into three barely connected sections. So even knowing this before I started it, I'm still taken aback by how insubstantial it was. The film is mostly pointless with no obvious aim or purpose.

It was all style, no substance. The style was good and initially intriguing in its own way. There is a constant use of extreme close ups and exaggerated sound effects - doors creaking, leather crinkling and heavy breathing being the most used sounds. For the first section it worked and was holding my attention well even though nothing much was happening.

The pace was slow but it was fine with me. It wasn't stretching things out too much and seemed correct.

Then after about twenty minutes it becomes too abstract and vague when the little girl is locked in the room. She appears to be under attack and ends up on the ceiling. Or something. It was so confusingly filmed in close ups that it's hard to say what was happening. After about five minutes of nearly incomprehensible images I started to become a bit bored.

Then it switches to the second section. This whole twenty or so minute part is outright pointless. They walk to a shop, and then they walk back home. They meet a few people. There is a hint of menace and sexual frustration.

The style had now completely taken over. The problem was that they had already used up every stylish idea they had. We were now seeing and hearing the same things for about the fifth time. Also the bright sunny outdoors of this part couldn't compete with the dark gothic atmosphere of the first section.
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Format: DVD
Like others I watched this because I heard that it was inspired by giallo films. Indeed it does bear many of the hallmarks of gialli, including the soundtrack, visual elements and lighting - and these are not subliminal but up-front, so it was obviously the film-makers' intention for "Amer" to be in part a tribute to the genre - however as a film in itself it is quite clearly not a giallo, being located somewhere between surrealism and voyeurism.

There is very little plot in the film; it consists of three vignettes from a girl's (latterly a woman's) life, and she is menaced by her surroundings in all of them. The pace is lingering and the dialogue minimal, for the real attraction of "Amer" is in its stunning camerawork and the exquisitely detailed scenes that the camera examines with its leisurely eye.
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Format: DVD
This is without question an artful production, which in some ways is what makes it so infuriating. A slavish tribute to fashionable cult genre filmmaking, it is a definitive triumph of style over substance - a movie that looks beautiful but lacks any real soul or purpose of its own - simultaneously highly sophisticated and profoundly stupid. While some cult film fanatics adored this, I confess that I struggled to stay awake - and I would count myself as a pretty dedicated cult horror veteran.

Approach with caution...
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Format: DVD
I'm an avid collector of giallos and was looking forward to this movie with great anticipation. It seemed like those who reviewed it from film festival screenings were hailing it as an 'authentic' giallo that was a flawless return to that particular style of movie making.
Well, AMER is a very difficult movie to critique properly because it is actually a unique 'movie' which doesn't adhere to a coherent narrative. While it is beautiful to look at there is no way to know exactly what is going on. It's much more 'David Lynch' than 'Dario Argento'. While it's certainly steeped in the stylistic flourishes of 70s giallos it's more like 'giallo fantasia' than a giallo proper; a flashy cinematic love letter to the stylistic staples of the genre, without the engaging mystery. There is very little dialog whatsoever. There is also only one really violent murder in the movie and it happens to a man (were the filmmakers afraid to glamorously depict the giallo's trademark misogyny?)
While the opening scenes are compelling (heavily emphasized in the trailers), the rest of the movie unfortunately is not as consistent or engaging and the finale is sorely lacking. Another crucial element of giallos is the music. With the exception of the main theme song most of AMER's soundtrack is comprised of tracks directly lifted from the soundtracks several 70s giallos! Some giallo purists will no doubt find this unforgivable.
Overall AMER is a beautiful collection of images which is unfortunately hampered by a constantly profound approach to ANYTHING & EVERYTHING! Even the most mundane things are emphasized with menacing close-ups (forearm hairs, ears, etc).
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