on 30 July 2013
I heard Mark Kermode praising this film, saying it was terrifying and original, a must see for any true horror fan. What a let down.
The simple fact is that this film is not scary on any level. Its bizarre, yes, and maybe if I'd taken mushrooms like the characters I'd have enjoyed it and the various odd camera effects and frankly boring montages, but I didn't.
Its like some French arthouse film, except, its not edgy or clever but rather a boring film where the limited suspense is interspersed with ludicrous camera work, repetitive scenes and wearisome dialogue. I was particularly disappointed as I love the main actor, being a big fan of league of gentleman back in the day, and although the acting is solid, the plot, set entirely in a field, is not gripping, somewhat predictable, and, as I say, not remotely scary. I feel this was a real missed opportunity as the era and cast were good, but the way in which it was shot really let it down. Perhaps they were on a shoestring budget? Blairwitch style, permitted only to film in a black and white field where nothing really happens, culminating in a frightfully tedious watch.
The mix between horror and comedy is hard to pull off, seeing as they are on many levels polar opposites, yet this film fails to be either funny or scary. Some great horror films can have a few amusing scenes which serve to highlight the main themes of horror and enhance the terror, but when the plot itself is the joke the film will always fail to scare, amuse, indeed entertain. I can see what the director was trying to achieve, and how the bizarre scenes were designed to freak the audience out and convey a sense of madness and terror, but for me it utterly failed and was simply a waste of time.
If you are the kind of person who likes to interpret pretentious arty symbols, as if this film was one moving picture in a gallery, where you can see what you want to see, read what you want to into every camera angle, "poetry, visual and paintings of creativity, composed into something metaphorical and beautiful." to quote another review, then yes, I can see the appeal. But, if you watch horror films to be scared, on any level, then I'd really give this film a miss. I agree this film is original, but, as this snoozefest shows, that is not always a good thing. Avoid (unless high).