Thursday, 21 February 2013

Movie Review: Gut (2012)

When I first heard about this film, I was somewhat intrigued to see how it would play out. However, my intrigue was somewhat stilted by the thought in the back of my head which smacked of un-ease. There was something sinister and wrong about the films subject matter which for some reason, be it that part of my human psyche which craves and is fascinated by the morbid and the unknown or just some sick notion. Whatever it was, it looked... interesting.

Gut tells the story of two friends, Tom and Dan. Tom, who has settled down and has the nice family life, seems to have grown up. Dan on the other hand still wants to be a teenager, living the bachelor life. Together they have been friends for a long time but slowly the friendship begins to drift as Tom outgrows Dan and his beer and movie fuelled nights.

A conversation during a lunch break notifies Dan that Tom is thinking of upping sticks and moving away. This news doesn’t go down too well with Dan! Eventually he seems to accept the idea but at a cost. He entices Tom round to his flat with the prospect of a new horror film he received in the post recently. The film he received he says, was bought on a cult website and is supposedly a real snuff film. Anyway, the pair sit in silence as the film flickers away before their eyes. Tom’s initial reaction is that of disdain and disgust but it isn’t long before his inner thoughts spill out and it soon begins to consume him! Another DVD arrives and it soon becomes apparent that the pictures being displayed on the bright screen are a little too close to home....

Now, in premise, the film is solid, a great display of separation and contrasts. The human psyche is laid bare for all to see in many scenes, most notably a scene in which Tom awakes to find his wife’s stomach slit in the same manner as the victims in the films! Tom’s slow unfurling plays out for all to see as he gradually loses his calm, cool exterior!

As a whole, the acting was fair at best. Tom played by Jason Vail portrays a figure of immense fatigue but his delivery lacks a certain lustre! Nicolas Wilder, who plays Dan, could have had a lot of fun with his role but again, a somewhat dreary display really detracts from the overall feel of the film. Couple the acting with the overuse of single note soundtracks and what you’re left with is tedious drone which seems to be very hard work. It does show some impressive atmosphere in parts but others lament in all quarters.

If you go into this film looking at the cover and the title and expect blood, guts and gore, you may find yourself sat disappointed. Having said that, if you go in with no expectations, you may still find yourself very dissatisfied and frustrated! What started off as intrigue soon petered out into monotony as the film eventually leads to yawns and squints as I reach for the volume to put an end to that horrible droning sound! All in all, I am glad I watched Gut, if only to improve my vast knowledge of independent horror.

Considering the last indie horror I watched was the brilliantly crafted Midnight Movie, Gut somewhat disappoints, while it may have got unfavourable reviews here and elsewhere, it was not without its charm, so on the surface, good. The deeper you delve, the more it fails. Writer, Producer and Director Elias while stirring up the initial intrigue with his one word name doesn’t quite captivate the audience with this vision but great promise and potential, so here’s looking forward to his next venture!

Released: 2012
Gut (2012) on IMDb
My Rating: (on the fence) 5

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