Written and directed by Elias
Family man Tom feels disillusioned with his life so best mate Dan attempts to cheers him up by inviting him over to his house to watch a gruesome horror film, just like they used to watch as teenagers. The movie turns out to be something neither have seen before, a graphic, realistic depiction of a murder…a snuff film. Haunted yet mesmorised by what he’s just seen, Tom urges Dan to destroy the disc, but Dan instead acquires another. Despite the disturbing visions and nightmares he has about the film, Tom cannot resist the voyeuristic rewards of watching, what could be, a real-life murder.
When the movies start to take over his day-to-day family life, Tom urges his friend once more to destroy all traces of the discs but is it too late?
GUT is a tense thriller right from the very start as we are introduced to the two workmates and best friends, Tom and Dan. We instantly get a impression of their personalities from their time at work and their work desks. Tom is a family man, neat and punctual who has responsibilities in his life, in contrast to Dan who’s a goofy, horror movie addict that lives alone and appears to have no-one to talk to and hang out with except for Dan.
The entire film is very character driven, with the focus on these two characters and their lives. After watching the torture film, it is clear both are affected by it in one way or another, and both show an unhealthy obsession with repeated viewings and the intrigue of yet another movie.
Nicholas Wilder is superb as bachelor boy Dan, who’s yet to grow up and still acts as though he was 15. His dependency on Tom is evident when he reacts badly to the news that Tom and his family plan to move upstate. Jason Vail keeps it subtle with his character Tom and his expressions speak louder than words ever could as he struggles with the thoughts of the film. Supporting roles by Sarah Schoofs and Kirstianna and Kaitlyn Mueller as Tom’s wife and daughter respectively (the sisters play the same girl) are superb and bring an authentic family life to flesh out Tom’s character, and later an appearance from Angie Bullaro as diner waitress Sally is again a welcomed addition that compliments the film nicely.
Whilst there is healthy dialogue, the film isn’t bursting with action and some may find it a turn off. However, I enjoy this kind of story and slow build-up and realistic scenarios between the two kept me gripped from beginning to end.
GUT is disturbing yet enthralling, just like the movies that consume GUT’s characters. This independent film is highly original with an engaging story that will keep the viewer locked in the bubble of Dan and Tom’s compulsion right until it bursts.