Directed by Sam Barrett
Screened at Grimmfest 2014
Cassie, an artist, fears the blood-thirsty visions in her nightmares and waking hours are actually real-life murders. When an investigator meets up with her to confirm her suspicions, Cassie must use her ability to stop the mysterious murderer in their tracks as those closest to her fall prey to the killer.
Australian thriller SORORAL has been touted as neo-giallo and it’s hard not to see why. Full of the bold colours that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Dario Argento movie, SORORAL oozes style. The hidden killer and POV angles too are inspired from the giallo movies and help to quickly set the tension within the movie. Throw in a dollop of the supernatural and you have SORORAL. However, the film seems to rely too much on style over substance as the film fails to make an impact in the plot department. An intriguing opener sets a dark tone and impresses, teasing the viewer about what’s to come in the film. Disappointingly, the film descends into amateurish storytelling and script with performances to match. An unrealistic plot thread shatters the serious tone that the film would have benefitted from and leaves the film little more than a stylish romp.
One of the main things that SORORAL struggles with is pacing. The scenes seem higgledy piggledy and it was hard to keep up with the plot once it turned personal for the character of Cassie. This jumbled structure made the film incoherant at times and ruined the enjoyment of the movie as a viewer. Only the bold colours, giallo-themed soundtrack and 70’s inspired fashion remained consistant throughout.
About two thirds into the film, the identity of the killer is revealed and Cassie must stop the culprit. This is where things really get confusing and I struggled to maintain a grip on the storyline. A plot involving a creepy doll, absent fathers, genetics and evil all wrapped up in a neo-giallo package makes for a very surreal watch indeed!
Whilst SORORAL struggles as a form of storytelling, the effort gone into the style of the film has to be applauded. If the filmmakers could channel that same style into a less complicated tale, there could be an indie hit on their hands.