Oct 10, 2012

Review: Gut - 2012

Director: Elias

Something is missing in Tom's life. Every day he goes through the motions, becoming increasingly detached from those around him. His best friend Dan thinks he has the answer, a mysterious video he's got to see to believe. What Dan shows him leaves Tom unsettled, flooding his mind with disturbing images and desires, and binding the two friends together with its ugly secret. As he tries desperately to forget what he saw, Tom's mounting feelings of guilt and disillusionment quickly give way to paranoia and fear. One video soon follows another and another, blurring the line between reality and voyeuristic fascination, and threatening to dismantle everything around them. 

I did not write the above description of the film but I found it being so informative that there was really no need to rewrite something original for the sole purpose of this review. Maybe I would have included that the film that might solve Tom’s problems and fascinates Dan is some kind of snuff-porn where a woman gets cut open with a scalpel. There’s really no need to leave this information out as the movies title kind of gives that away anyway.

The whole atmosphere in this movie within the movie is sexual but there’s no actual footage of sex or sexual encounters. Nor is there any real evidence of sexual arousal by the viewers of it. There is insinuated fascination but not really arousal. This means that the film is not there just to shock us but also to frighten us, which it does over time. To begin with Dan tells Tom that he ordered it online somewhere but later confesses that someone just sent it to him after he wrote his postbox number in some forum.

When Dan gets another DVD, and then another and another we realize that this is not sexual at all. At least not for the viewers. Tom and especially Dan can’t let go of it and feel themselves forced to watch. The fascination gets more prominent but we realize more and more that something about this is totally wrong. (when someone sends us DVDs of women being cut open we should feel kind of awkward don’t you think?).

What good about it is that there is a presence of the question what is real and what is not? Soon the DVDs start showing women that they know being cut open. Here stops the fascination and terror begins. Why are they receiving these DVDs? Who is sending them, and why? Are they even real?

The friendship of Tom and Dan are soon in jeopardy. They cannot support each other more than to a certain point. They just want the whole thing to end. In the end it’s all about mental instability and the need to protect ourselves. Looking out for number one and your own family is the prime directive. Your friends are really secondary!

I was surprised how well acted this was. Neither of them will get an Oscar nomination for their work but they portray the characters very satisfactory. The same thing goes for the directing and the visual effects are very good also! It was an exciting experience watching this and I feel that the suspense was there almost all along, which is truly uncommon for a low budget movie like this.


Photos by Will Serber, © Gut Productions, LLC

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