We witness ‘The Man’ (a fantastic Gordon Holliday) sitting at a table alone, half naked and deeply unhappy with himself. It’s obvious the man is emotionally in pain as he looks longingly at a photo of himself and his family and we soon find out how much he is hurting when he places DIY tools such as a hacksaw and a stanley knife on the table, along with a digital camera to record his actions. The character doesn’t utter a word throughout the 10 minute short beside groans and screams, but we know exactly what we are about to witness and Stewart delivers the goods.
The way in which the film is shot puts the viewer in a difficult and uncomfortable position. We are forced to watch first hand at the torment and self-mutilation of The Man, unable to look away, but the curiousity of it all keeps us watching.
The severance scenes are handled brilliantly with just enough gore on show to tie an uneasy knot in your stomach. The crunches and cutting sounds, coupled with The Man’s grimacing face and muffled screams are plenty to unsettle and hit home the true horror of suffering from body dysmorphia.
A terrific performance from Gordon Holliday, using mere movements and facial expressions, culminates in a shocking ending that made this reviewer sit up and gasp.
Andy Stewart has proved himself as a storyteller, one that can deliver on a small budget, and the emotionally-heartbreaking DYSMORPHIA leaves me excited to see the following two short films in his body horror series.
Read our interview with Andy Stewart and catch his short film DYSMORPHIA at Grimmfest 2012 preview night on Wednesday 3rd October 2012 at Stockport Plaza cinema.