Tag Archives: “torture porn”

The Woman

Didn’t want to miss this after hearing the stories from Sundance, but as it turns out I didn’t like this any better than McKee’s other films. Tarted up as a feminist parable, the film is a little too gleefully judgmental of a certain category of women that it believes are complicit in their own exploitation. At any rate, the patronizing gender studies mesh poorly with McKee’s slapdash directorial technique, and the slow-moving film is saddled with a jarring rock-and-roll song score and an ersatz 1970s editorial style that verges on self-parody. The best thing about McKee is the women he surrounds himself with, and the line-up of Angela Bettis, Carlee Baker, teenage Lauren Ashley Carter, and smoldering savage Pollyanna McIntosh, in a purely physical role, makes this easy enough to watch without quite dispelling the puerile didacticism of the whole affair. Sean Bridgers, too, playing a candidate for World’s Worst Dad, has some moments. The performances tug at the story’s more interesting undercurrents, trying to pull something up to the surface, and I kept imagining the myriad ways another director might have made something better and more urgent than McKee’s awkwardly sunlit mix of deadpan humor and grim endurance test. I’ll bet Rob Zombie’s The Woman would be something to see.

I Spit on Your Grave

Conceived and executed in the cool, desaturated style of a Saw movie, this remake is decidedly calculated. Its Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is again a big-city writer roughing it in the country, but she’s a contemporary woman: instead of spending the day lounging in a hammock or on a rowboat, she’ll be out jogging in the morning and enjoying a glass of red wine in the evening.

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Untraceable

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My review of Untraceable on Blu-ray Disc is online at filmfreakcentral.net:

The makers of Untraceable never acknowledge their film’s own

ranking on the torture-as-entertainment scale. Instead, they’re

hell-bent on the idea that the online masses, guilty of exercising poor

taste, are somehow complicit in the worst kinds of crimes that might be

committed somewhere on the Internet by some sicko craving an audience.

The hectoring is so relentless that Untraceable obviously means

to send that message to its own audience–the sort of sick fucks who

would pay to see this movie in the first place. (For whatever reason,

moralizing filmmakers from Michael Haneke on down the line often fail

to implicate themselves in that downward spiral they so disdain.) D

FEARDOTCOM

Imagine that the Web draws energy, spiritual and otherwise, from the material world. Further imagine that if someone’s death were streamed over the Web, that person’s unquiet ghost could haunt the wires, going so far as to create an elaborate Flash-enabled site that kills everyone who visits it in precisely 48 hours — unless they manage to unravel the murder mystery.

Spoooooooky.

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