Directed by Elias
If you tease me a movie about the snuff film, it's an urban legend that gets me curious. When you make an intriguing trailer, you've sucked me in.
But when you make a film that doesn't live up to any of that, well you've just pulled off a cruel joke. With Gut, the premise makes it seem we'll see The Ring meets August Underground. But somehow it's a slow burn psychological film instead, which didn't really resonate with all the bells and whistles of what a snuff film could be.
Clearly it's trying something different and being an indie horror film you'd expect a creative approach to the subject. But somehow there isn't much really going on. It's your standard everyday salaryman and his goofy friend stumbling on snuff and going down a rabbit hole of friendship damage and impending doom. Dudes work, eat, fuck (err.. with their significant others) and watch snuff. All ends as it should. With me being bored as all fuck.
Family man Tom has seen something he can't forget, a mysterious video with an ugly secret that soon spreads into his daily life and threatens to dismantle everything around him.
It seems the universal consensus by my fellow reviewers is this is a psychological horror kick. OK I could see glimpses of that in Gut. However, slow burn scenes of repetitive nonsense are not a way to go. Tom is a husband and father who with this wife Lily and daughter Katie lives the suburban life of work and play. Clearly this has sucked the life out of him so his BFF Dan (a horror freak) seemingly injects some crazy into his life in the form of a video he receives via the underground web of IRC chat rooms.
The video consisting of a woman's stomach being sliced open is mesmerizing to the duo and they soon get hooked. It infiltrates their lives from work, to their relationships and to their friendship. Soon the movies become more personal and people die. Sorry that's the best summary I could do.
First let me say that the special effects are pretty solid. All looks wickedly non CGI-ish and is creepy snuff from the other pseudo snuff films I've seen. Add in the fact we get our standard share of boobs, that's one for Team Boobage. But somehow we get Tom's naked Shamus like pasty white ass in every random sex scene. It's the most awkward sex scenes I've seen bordering on those old Skinemax parodies of horror films.
If this is a psychological thriller about the loneliness of both sides of the equation (married couple vs single guy) it does neither to amp up the tension. I started to realize if this is something about something I missed the point. There are no real scares, no real scenes that made me "Oh Shit!" and nothing that made me think. I'm not sure what everybody else saw but clearly I'm in the minority here.
Tom slowly loses control but there never seems to be a on the doorstep evil that might be on it's way. If this was intentional, then I think Elias missed a perfect opportunity to explore the evil that may be where we don't expect.The risks Elias takes on this direction of the snuff urban legend is weak at best. You have so many levels to work on and it seems he didn't even scratch the purpose.
But in the end, I needed the movie to give me something that I could take away. And all I got was a punch in the gut. A very weak one at that.
Lots of cute boobs
Lots of cute boobs
Slice and dice
Punch to the face trauma
The ending was weaker than Mike's Hard Lemonade
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
At least I marked this off my indie horror screener pile. Gut is clearly different but didn't accomplish what I was looking for. Maybe I expected more, but I really should have expected less.
Check out the trailer.