Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Sinister record in grossing out the audience


The first thing to say concerns the atmosphere and the style of the film. It is bleak. It is dark. The only color is a few dots of red in a lot of black. We are always or nearly always underground, in tunnels, galleries, with running water, in sewers or equivalent places. It is always the night with just some red lights or fire cutting the darkness. Then when we are inside some buildings they are just like outside, in ruins, dirty, bleak, dark, bad hotels when it is not some kind of indescribable refuge for human rats. It is supposed to be Europe, some reduce it to Germany, after WW2 and it is just a vast wasteland abandoned to its own irreversible decay.

The characters are two let’s say ex-cops. One, Osborne, has fallen out of grace though he is the head and thinker of the film, and the other one, Fischer, is an ex-cop who ran away from police work to find some peace in Cairo. One day he accepts to be hypnotized by a doctor to try to find some solution to a case that is haunting him. This explains the blurred and fuzzy images, the lack of details and the concentration on desolation and a few details here and there that are hardly visible and recognizable or identifiable.

The only interest of the film, apart from this dystopian if not suicidal vision of Europe, is that Osborne advocates a special method to deal with serial killers. You have to enter their minds and penetrate their motivations. Why do they do this, why do they do it like that, and thus understand every single detail of the pattern of serial killers because they follow patterns. This is profiling as it was at the time devised by the FBI in Quantico. But the film shows that the cop runs a risk: he will little by little get into the tracks if not the footsteps of the killer in order to stop him by knowing what his next crime will be. He thus becomes the serial killer, and not only in a way, in reality. He has to stop and he did stop just in time.

I am not sure that the fact the prostitute he uses all along has had a child by the killer Harry Grey adds anything to the plot except that Fischer is thus put some more in the position and even place of the killer to make us even doubt whether he is not the killer himself. That’s the five seconds of tragedy, or rather melodrama. Of course we do not really know what is the past, what is the hypnosis or what is a new trip to Europe. Chronology is not important at all.

A film that is difficult to really penetrate because of this somber darkness that wraps everything, every detail in some unbearable horror. We are like repulsed by it more than in anyway attracted to it. Horrified no, terrified no, grossed out for sure.


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