Review By Daniel Kraevyn
Gut – 2012 (Director: Elias)
Starring – Jason Vail, Nicholas Wilder, Sarah Schoofs
Gut is a film that delves into the evolution of obsession, and the permutations that occur with the individual. What one finds perverse can quickly become an object of indefinable addiction, having the person revulsed, yet compelled to continue their degenerate habits. What one finds repulsive, another may find alluring, and of course, human nature compels us to watch these things, often in spite of our emotions of disgust.
It is the tale of Tom, an average family man; he has his home, his wife, daughter, a steady job, and a longtime friend, Dan, who shares an office with him. But Tom wants to move away, to get a change of scenery for his family, to flee the banality that he feels his life has become inundated with. Tom’s friend, Dan, is feeling his joy wane, and wants to rekindle the friendship he and Tom once shared. It is this desire that drives Dan to ask Tom over to watch a movie… one that he assures Tom will be well worth the time. The film: a home-made video showing a bound woman, and her eventual murder. The biggest question, was the killing real?
Henceforth, the film takes you on a journey, through Tom’s perspective, as at first being repulsed by what he has seen, yet becoming an obsession, as it starts to affect his relationships with both his wife and daughter, as well as with his friend, Dan.
The quality of the film was surprising, and I must say that for the most part, the acting was believable, both in the casual relationship between Tom and Dan, but executed very well showing the realtionship between Tom, his wife, and their little girl. Note, this film is quite erotic, playing again with the fine line between sexuality and base perversity.
Unfortunately, the pacing of the film is perhaps the biggest detriment. What could have been compressed into a 30 – 45 minute short film felt to me like something that was stretched to fill in an obligatory “feature film” time allotment. The opening of the film shows us one thing, then it takes quite some time for the plot to actually progress to the titular moment: the video, and it’s nefarious affects on the psyches of our protagonist. Once that occurs, the pacing then slows again, until ultimately the finale… which was again a little disheartening to me as it seemed to take too long to actually bring all the conflict to a climax. Once the climax hits, though, the film took on a much darker tone, giving better depth and horror to the plot. Yet, I hearken back to my complaint, that you have to sit through most of the movie to enjoy this finale, and many viewers may not be willing to invest the time.
Bottom line, this movie is another take on the whole sadism and torture porn theme, while managing to stay original in it’s concept and delivery. If you like the more humanistic (read: no supernatural elements) horror films that display voyeuristic depravity, that explore the perverse limits of human nature, then I can recommend it; although I have seen better, the good thing is, I have seen a lot worse, too.