A SERBIAN FILM: The Hughes Verdict

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A SERBIAN FILM

When Paxton, Oli and Josh checked in for the night at a Hostel at around the same time as JIgsaw started to embark on making the Saw franchise the most successful in horror history, a new wave from the depths of the ocean was going to hit the horror genre. Gore-Porn was heading its way to the shores, like a child talking its first walk, it had an eagerness to stand out, a will to impress onto the world, for everyone to look up and see what it was doing! Of course the new generation of horror fans, bought up on the tail end of lame bogyman sequels where the kitchen knife had all but gone blunt, did not know what was going to hit them! For the old fans this was nothing new.

The 80’s had seen a craze of Government madness led by a national paper that born the phase Video Nasties in which films of quite a sadistic nature were seen to be the forces of evil nature, and anyone seen with a VHS copy of any of these films would have their house raided and belongings taken. Times of course have changed. You only need to look at the MTV music channels at 11.30 in the morning and see half dressed women shoving their arse at the camera while dancing to old remixed tunes to see that not many seem to care anymore who is watching and at what time. The days of people hanging around cinemas with big boards demanding people not to see the film on show have long but gone, but if they did, then they probably never could leave the place their are standing, as every week a new film seems to hit the screen, claiming a new level of violence. Saw was a wonderful original movie with a killer twist that spawned a set of sequels whose plot was just padding for its main aim and that was excessive torture scenes.

Since then, all cinema from all over the world have jumped on their bandwagon. In the last two years my eyes have been subjected to an unborn baby being ripped from her mother (Inside) a woman being brutally attacked over and over (Martyrs) not so pretty damage to the penis (Hostel 2, Penance) and many more that I could go and on and on. It seems for every new film that has a new shock image, another film that is getting made realises that their mission is to top that scene. As I have said on many occasions “We are reaching a stage where one film is going to come out that is going to single handily blow the others away and also carry the sound of death for gore-porn as we know it”,

THAT MOMENT HAS BEEN REACHED!

The trouble is with this shock genre that it does what it sets out to do! Even before the first glimpse of a trailer or image has been shown, word of mouth develops and with everything built around the Internet these days, its quite hard not to hear about a new film due that will create a massive outcry. There is also a need for many horror fans to see this movie when they hear all the negative press surrounding it! Its like when parents tell children they not supposed to do something, they do it anyway, or when Newspapers (and this is going to happen!) demand all movie fans never to watch a film, you human instinct is that you now have to watch it! If you like me, most of the time when there is an outcry, the film itself after watching you find is a massive disappointment.

At times the hype is bigger than the film, that the brutal and savage scenes were the same than the last film that caused such a stir. Even Martyrs for all its wonderful moments left me with no need to look away, yes it was not nice but its fiction, and its just a film. Maybe like all the other fans of the recent age, I had become too immune to the sights I was seeing, that once you had seen one woman beaten or skinned you had seen them all. I actually had the confidence in believing that I was now too old to be shocked and stunned into silence. I mean a man who stupidly calls himself the King of Horrors, must have seem so many, that now each and every new film is just a parody to what was before!

I WAS WRONG!

Sitting down to watch A Serbian Film, I had no idea what I was about to suffer or see! When reviewers say they felt physically sick when watching, a horror, you usually take that as a pinch of salt, but many times during this I did! My stomach turned and my head shook at the disgusting storyline that was unfolding. This is horror that is HORROR! A film that will take its viewer into a world that has never been witnessed before and I doubt ever will again. To say that I was shaking during the watch is an understatement, I have been told recently that my reviews are like a diary, in which I put down what I am feeling from beginning to end, well this one review will be different! I felt the same throughout, disgusted, and depraved, there is nothing I can write down on here that will explain to you the emotion I felt watching this brutal film. Its a horror that I have never seen before, my mind could feel the blast of unseen imagery enter its virgin brain that resulted in me sitting there with a need to knock this filth off but couldn’t. I would love to tell you the scenes but even if I could I cant. Not for spoilers but what you witness here should never be talked about on this forum as many of you would not want to read about or know that it exists! in art form. If the objective from the director Srdjan Spasojevic and writer Aleksandar Radivojevic was to make a film that would just take the world by the storm, then they have truly created a masterpiece!

Its not an easy thing for me to write this review, I feel ashamed telling the readers of HCF that I actually sat down and watched it, but while I feel dirty and morally wrong for what I have done, the inner self, a piece of me that is a movie fan feels the need to tell others about this film. Yes, its something which 80% of fans will walk off in disgust, but for those remaining 20%, there is a film out there that challenges everything you know about movies.

Let me tell you, if you think you have seen everything then you haven’t, a Serbian film bypasses everything before it! How bad is it? Well this will never get released in this form. No distributor will have the balls to put their name to this film for fear of the negativity that it will most surely provide!

Every time money is tight, and there is not enough to feed himself, his wife and his son, Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) returns to what he is good at…..porn! Semi retired but well known for his staying power in that he can get and get and keep an erection without any need of form of pleasure or visual tricks, Milos with the help of an old friend gets a once in a lifetime offer to make a porn film with a hot new director who is in town for a new shoot! Excited and eager to make the money his family needs, Milos signs on the dotted line but the offer has a condition. The maker Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic) demands that Milos needs not to know where the film is going to take place whom the person he is going to star with. Its all hush and hush and the only thing he needs to know is that the film will take the subject for fans to a whole new level. An idea and notion that The Serbian Film itself carries throughout! Milos turns up on the day and is demanded to put on a ear piece in which Vukmir will shout out instructions, he is escorted to a room where things are fine, his worried voice inside him that all this feels wrong slowly subsides, and then a little girl appears and from then on in, you share a journey with Milos that you will never ever share again.

I can not go into anymore. What is on offer with shake you, even more so if you go in blind. Its a subject that I thought I would never be subjected to. All those exploitation films that have been released over the years or even decades have nothing on this. The one scene coming towards the hour mark left a scar in my horror mind. It was then when I should have stood up,, opened my DVD tray and burned the disc right there in my living room! But I didn’t, and why, because Serbian challenges you like no other. Just when you think you have seen the worse, something else comes along and grabs you heart and twists it!

Also the film has a heart.

Yes I hate myself saying that, but this is not just shock for the sake value. There is political message underneath the mayhem. The film reminds me of Smell Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. At the time the song was described has a voice of a generation and that the anger could be heard from within. Now I am not saying that this film is for this generation, but you can sense it was made by an angry direction team whose voice wants to be heard in a country that does not listen! There are hints through out of their suppressed anger and it shows especially in once scene in which a character talks about victims and how they are made to suffer! Yes there be those who ignore the overall theme and just concentrate on the mayhem. There be them who judge those who watch this, and even dare call the film good.

Do you get pleasure from watching this?

No!

Is this art gone too far?

Of course!

But if your mind is already made up before you even sit down and watch it, then why are you watching it? There is no middle ground. There be no one stating that “It was ok!” or “seen better”., you either hate it or love it, its the marmite of the film world. I doubt I will ever see a film in my lifetime that will shock me like this. Even now, writing up this movie review I am still shaking from the extreme imagery that was displayed.

The makers wanted to send out a message and they have done it in a way that has never been done before. But again for such an horrific showing, the film is somewhat filmed in a beautiful manner, this not on the cheap scale of the market, a lot of care has gone into the making and it shows with a stunning score booming from the violence! I can not and will recomend this film for anyone, if you want to see it, see it, after you have you wished you haven’t. For all those cocky out there who think they have seen it all then prepare fo a nightmare of the highest proportions, yes you may have thought that a penis being ripped from a man in Hostel Pt 2 has prepared you for what is coming, but when you see a woman having her teeth pulled out and then has to perform a sex act on a man until she chokes to death, then you sense the fear and dread, especially as that scene alone in this movie could be a PG13 to what is coming next!

Its a masterpiece of supreme depravity.

A laugh to all those who thought films could not get worse. A movie that is destinded to be infamous for the fact many will hear of it, loads wll talk of it, but many will never witness it. Its the best horror of the year by far, in fact I go as far and say its the first Horror masterpiece of this decade It shows a world that exists out there, a place where deep down we knew was there but never wanted to acknowledge. What actions of a man bares repercussions for his entire family. I will never ever watch this again. I do not need to, everything that it offered will forever be stuck with me, I am ahshamed with the guilt running through my veins. I have taken a bath to no avail, I hate myself for not only watching this movie but also for understanding it, and for not turning it off when I should have! And the fact that while I will never score this film because its feels wrong doing so, if you wanted to know what I would have put, it would have been more than 4, less than six, out of my usual out of 5 rating…….

[pt-filmtitle]A Serbian Film[/pt-filmtitle]

About Ross Hughes 1931 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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