Titane: Pushing The Boundaries Of Bad Taste

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A young woman, played by Agathe Rousselle, goes on a killing spree and has sex with cars.

Clearly the director of this film has been having some conversations with Ti West and is being taught in the school of being edgy in a horror film for the sake of shock value. Within the first ten minutes of this film you have a car accident, a protracted surgery scene, a scene were a young girl passionately embraces a car, then a cut to when she is an adult and an almost rape scene. Yes, all of that did almost make me turn the film off, but no I decided to stick with it and believe me it got worse.

The car sex scene that happens again fairly early into the film is entirely needless. I am no prude but this scene is just unnecessary, it is too long, too graphic and too fetishized. If it were used in a film by a male director it would be labelled problematic and never allowed to see the light of day.

Furthermore as the film progresses it begins to deal with ideas around gender, now there could be something of merit here if the film had something intelligent to say with it, but no, it is just used as a gimmick to try and seem trendy.

Overall, I don’t really know what more to say, don’t watch it.

Pros.

It is short

Cons.

It is needless in almost everyway

It tries too hard to be edgy

It does nothing interesting with the ideas around gender

It is unpleasant and depressing to watch   

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American Mary: The Horrors Of Body Modification

American Mary is a Canadian horror film directed by the Soska Sisters. The plot follows young surgeon Mary (Katherine Isabelle), who turns to performing extreme body modification surgery as a side hustle to make extra money.

This feels very much more exploitation esque than The Sisters other work, before or after, and as a result it feels harder to swallow. The premise is basically a rape revenge film, though done through a slightly different lens.

Your enjoyment of this film will come down to how squeamish you are, if you can stand live surgery and enjoy seeing people sliced into and stuff like that then you will enjoy it, as it is a very engaging watch. However, if you fall into the other side and find such subject matter hard to watch then you will be put off. I fall into the latter category.

Katherine Isabelle is a strong lead, we buy her turn to the dark side, even as it extends beyond torturing her attacker. Even though she arguably lives long enough to be the villain of her own story, she is still very rootable and crucially she is fascinating to watch develop and go on that journey.

Overall, there is a lot of good here, but because I can’t stand live surgery and that sort of subject matter I was off put, but that is a personal preference on my part. If you that doesn’t bother you and you like grindhouse exploitation style films then you will enjoy this too

Pros.

Katherine Isabelle

An interesting character arc

Darkly funny

Cons.

It is hard to watch

The subject matter will be divisive to some

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

Rabid: Beauty Has A Price

Rabid is a horror film directed by The Soska Sisters, based on the 1977 David Cronenberg film of the same name. The plot sees fashion designer wannabe Rose (Laura Vandervoort), get into a grisly car accident. With the very likely future of being disfigured for life, Rose decides to undergo experimental cutting-edge surgery that can supposedly repair her face; it also turns her into a monster with a taste for human flesh, but hey every medical treatment has side effects.

It was a little surreal to watch a film about a viral outbreak, even if it was a different kind of virus; rabies. I have been a huge fan of the Soska Sisters since they started out, they are incredibly talented and remaking Cronenberg is no easy task, however I do believe they manage to not only match the man himself but exceed him in a few ways.

Firstly, and most importantly for a Cronenberg film/ in this case a remake, the body horror. This film is a little light on that, not in a bad way though, because the few times this film does have some quality body horror it is used to great effect. Such as the scene at the end of the film when Rose is trapped in the room with the mad scientists technically, but not really, dead wife, in this scene we get to see the scale of monstrosity we would expect from such a film and it is haunting.

I thought that Vandervoort was exceptional in the lead role, this is due to the fact that you really buy her emotion and her sadness after the crash. The desperation that leads her to undergo risky experimental surgery is real and plain to see. Even when the more malicious side of her comes out later in the film, she is constantly shown fighting against her darker half and is a hero until the end.

My one complaint of the film would be that I would have liked to see the Sisters themselves more, they’re great actors and after recently watching Dead Hooker In The Trunk I would have loved to see them have bigger parts, maybe next time.

Overall, this film easily manages to live up to Cronenberg, which is the highest form of praise a film can get, great horror and very watchable; check it out!

Pros.

Sparing use of body horror.

Laura Vandervoort.

Well written.

It lives up to the original.

Con.

I would have liked to see The Sisters themselves play a larger role.

The ending was a bit too open ended for me.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke