Snuff Movie DVD Review
Review written by Daniel Benson
DVD released by Lionsgate UK
Written and directed by Bernard Rose
2005, Region 2 (PAL), 92 minutes, Rated 18
DVD released on September 10th, 2007
Jeroen Krabbé as Boris Arkadin
Lisa Enos as Wendy Jones
Hugo Myatt as Leon Bank
Joe Reegan as Jack
Teri Harrison as Pamela
Sharif Rosales-Webb as Matt Drazin
Alastair Mackenzie as Andy
Lyndsey Marshal as X
Catalina Harabagiu as Youth
Viorica Voda as Teeth
Tudor Necula as Marco Arkadin
Director Boris Arkadin (Jeroen Krabbé) has a dark past. His wife was murdered by the members of a cult of obsessed fans — and the entire event was filmed. Years later he’s recruiting actors for his latest project, a new horror movie that will be filmed without a script in his home full of cameras and surveillance equipment.
As the cast starts to assemble and take on their assigned characters, the events that unfold make them question whether they really are part of a movie, or something entirely more sinister.
It’s not very often I finish a film and end up with an overwhelming feeling of anger. In the case of Snuff Movie, I was furious once the final scene was over. Why? Because it offended me? Outraged me?
Well, sort of on both counts, but not in the stuffy British way that the tabloid press might express its displeasure in such a film. You see, despite having a pretty decent budget, despite being released by a prominent genre label and despite having a director with a pedigree that includes Candyman and Paperhouse, Snuff Movie doesn’t even have the common decency to provide any form of entertainment whatsoever.
The film is divided into three distinct acts: The first, and most enjoyable, charts the history of fictional director Boris Arkadin and the ‘real’ snuff movie that was made by a Manson-like cult in homage to one of his earlier films. The second, and incredibly dull act, largely consists of cheap, titillating nudity and endless pontificating from Arkadin. The final act, and this is where it gets really silly, tries its damndest to shock and falls flat on its face.
Snuff Movie, as a concept, had so much potential to be a genuinely terrifying horror movie, yet Bernard Rose completely loses the plot and borrows (or shamelessly rips off, depending on your viewpoint) a plethora of other, decent movies from My Little Eye to The Wicker Man (witness the Satan worshiping cult that appears out of nowhere near the end of the film).
It’s a real shame that a director like Rose can stoop to such a low level, and Snuff Movie stands as testament that all the right ingredients, don’t necessarily add up to quality filmmaking.
Audio, video and special features not rated as this was a screener disc.
Want to comment on this review? Head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.