"A former porn star accepts a role of a lifetime, not realizing that the director has murderous intentions."
Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for because you may just get it. Only a couple of days ago, I was ranting on this very blog about wanting to see a real ADULT horror movie and now director Srdjan Spasojevic has given me one with "A Serbian Film".
If you haven't heard the rumours about this uber brutal "torture porn" (never has the term been more appropriate!) then I'm not going to spoil it for you. I have deliberately not posted the trailer either though I'm sure you'll find it yourselves on YouTube without too much trouble.
But if you do know what I'm talking about then rest assured that "A Serbian Film" is everything you think it is and more. It's one of the most well made horror films that I have ever seen and makes even "Martyrs" look tame. If you are easily offended by ANYTHING then don't watch it... EVER!
The funny thing is, as a hardcore horror buff, I was able to sit through this and enjoy it without feeling the slightest twinge or any compassion for the characters whatsoever. Perhaps it's because I know that "IT'S ONLY A MOVIE!" and anything on screen is only as real as you want it to be. But maybe, just maybe, what I watched was distancing enough for me to not even care. Technically it was superb. Emotionally? Well, I didn't find it sick, scary or anything but I'm sure other people probably will.
I have noticed on various horror forums that there are so-called horror fans protesting that they are never going to watch "A Serbian Film" because it's so "disgusting". What a bunch of hypocritical wimps! They moan continuously that there is nothing new in the genre and when something does come out that will possibly "horrify" them, they all want to boycott it. What do they want? Another "Nightmare on Elm Street" remake? If you love horror then you absolutely have to see this film!
The last taboos of the torture porn subgenre have finally been broken and this is the result. In fact EVERY taboo gets broken in this movie apart from cruelty to animals and nobody wants to ever see that anyway. Even bestiality gets "an honourable mention"! I actually have a kind of empty anti-climactic feeling that now there is nowhere left to go. "A Serbian Film" has finally fulfilled every true horror fan's dream and killed it stone dead at the same time.
What next? What could possibly top this? Maybe it's time to get back into the more supernatural storylines again and away from these physical and realistic looking shocks. There's nothing to think about with movies like this. You just sit back and enjoy the ride. On the highest levels, I can see what Srdjan Spasojevic was getting at and understand the political message of Vukmir's "film within a film" but I just don't care about it. I liked it for what it was at its most superficial level and I also don't even care about how that makes me look.
I even liked the characters in this yet strangely felt not one iota of sympathy for any of them apart from almost a moment with Lejla, the porn actress who brought Milos to Vukmir in the first place. Did she get what she deserved I wonder? Yes, I think she did. There are no innocents in this film but there are some damn fine actors.
Is this the most perverse exploitation film I've ever watched though? I've seen them all - "Mum & Dad", "Salo", "Irreversible", "Murder Set Pieces", the list could go on and on right back to "I Spit on your Grave" or the banned video nasties of the 1980s. I'd say it was actually on a level with "Baise-Moi" but slicker even though the subject matter went into a much darker place. It's not the most disturbing thing I've ever seen either. "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" or the end of "Last Exit to Brooklyn" affected me much more than anything here. Not that anything I ever see on screen affects me at all once the end credits come up.
I really did enjoy "A Serbian Film". The story was good, the camerawork was good, and even the techno music pumping through it was good. I used the same word a lot there but that's the only way to describe the 104 minutes that I spent watching realistic yet still completely fake special effects, blood, gore, screaming, violence, murder, rape, paedophilia, incest, necrophilia, brutal rough sex and death. It was GOOD!