5 October 2005 | The_Void
Severely underrated Lovecraftian spoof-mystery...thing
Brian Yuzna established himself within the horror genre by producing splatter flicks such as the masterpiece Re-Animator and the pretty damn good From Beyond; but Society marks his first directorial project. It's a good one too! This film is unlike the likes of Re-Animator in that it doesn't work principally from lots of gore. There are some disgusting scenes on display; but the main focus of the film is always on the surreal element of the story. It definitely shares a Lovecraftian influence with Re-Animator. Bill Whitney is pretty much the normal teenage boy; but he's pretty sure his family aren't. He's paranoid that something unusual is going down with the society around him, but his psychiatrist is having none of it and puts it down simply to teenage paranoia. This is something more than paranoia, however, and after reviewing a tape his friend made, and having his friend die mysteriously, Bill is now certain that his fears are real. But it's hard to stand out from society; and society certainly isn't going to take his accusations lying down.
Society starts out like one of those teen comedies from the eighties; but somehow manages to build into a very surreal little film. I can definitely see why many didn't like it, but it certainly clicked for me! There are a lot of things that don't make perfect sense, the acting is terrible and the script is less than perfect - but it doesn't matter, because the imagination and inventiveness is here, and that is always the most important thing in horror. While there are films like this one in existence, there aren't any that are really similar to it; and that gives this film more standing in my view, as originality should be rewarded. Another positive element about this film is the way that it handles itself. The first hour is mainly concerned with the mystery behind 'society', but unlike many mystery flicks; this one always stays interesting. When it finally builds to it's effects-laden, disgusting finale - the audience really gets paid off, and if nothing else; you'll be captivated by what is on display. This film is a spoof on real 'society', but it keeps it's points close to it's chest and doesn't hit the audience in the face with them, thus giving this an element of intelligence. I warmly recommend this film!