1 September 2011 | Bloodwank
Original backwoods black comedy horror minor gem
Israel's fist horror film, and it's quite a doozy. Not only that, but one of the more unconventional, genre bending efforts I've seen in the genre for a while which comes across especially impressive for not just first time directors but a first time country. I won't go into the plot too much as its a film that one ought to discover for themselves, but a look at the characters is in order. We have Ofer and Tali, who ran away from home only to run afoul of evil in an abandoned nature reserve. Then there's Menashe, surveyor of said reserve and next to get drawn into it. Next come four young tennis players on the way to a game but are waylaid by an accident and finally Danny and Yuval, two cops who come to investigate said accident. Once all the characters are set up, the film gets moving, a black comedy of confusion, strained friendships and mounting anger, plot dependent entirely on character and emotions that spiral inexorably out of control. It all comes down to human nature and breaking points and its rather good to see in the film that peoples actions and reactions in the film feel realistic, whether the odd moment of deliberate malice organic to a character or mostly just desperate and unthinking violent reaction to a problem the film really has something to say underneath the chuckles or the bloodshed. The film is pretty amusing in a largely deadpan manner and the humour is nicely mixed in with the horror even as the tension slowly mounts and things become towards the end rather affecting. There isn't all that much gore but what's there is decent, nice little gruesome jolts achieved with quality practical FX work. It as all the more effect for audience identification with the characters, all of whom are well portrayed. Special mentions for Danny Geva as horny sleaze-ball rich kid cop Yuval, Ania Bukstein as a girl with some Sapphic attraction to a friend going on and Ofer Shechter as a jokester whose assurance and easy manner is sorely tested by affairs. The film could have done with more constant tension I think, with early scenes before everyone gets entangled lacking much of a spark to them, and also towards the end slightly overdoes its emotional farewells, but its solid going all the way and even gave me things to think about afterwards. A fine start for a new entry into the world of horror, definitely worth a look.