I am a loss for words...This was the darkest, nihilistic, most gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, brutal anime series I have seen! I have left feeling that depressed after watching an anime since Grave of the Fireflies. Definitely not for everyone and not your typical anime art style but it was really good and I was riveted that I watched it all in one sitting. Not for the kiddies.
I got to watch this recently and I was intrigued, but soon that intrigue turned to disappointment. I understand being a "reboot" of sorts that things change with the times. With that being said and being a fan of the original films (Mainly 1-5) I felt this was a thrown together hack fest. It was great to see some new puppets and different ways to dispatch their victims but, that was the whole movie! It was a puppet kill snuff film. No real plot, the most wooden characters. Granted the effects and how they brought the puppets to life were excellent. They could have used that then wrapped around a decent story. I dont like that they made Andre Toulon a Nazi agent nor do I care that the puppets are just mindless hatemongering killing machines. Part of the story of Puppet Master is the tragedy of Andre Toulons fight against the Nazis and how he and his Puppets are these violent anti-heroes. Furthermore by adding so many puppets and reproducing so many versions of blade etc. Theyve destroyed the individuality of what made each puppet special. They each were their own character in their own right as well. They aren't Gremlins. To me this was just a fail for the franchise. Seemed like a sfx sizzle reel and not much of a movie.
Extreme, but not as extreme as it could have been.
I have just watched A Serbian Film. I understand it. But, what got me to understand it is the fact the plot was already similar to movies I had seen before:
It dealt with the similar theme of a heist movie where the down and out ex con is trying to go straight but then is convinced to join one last heist to set him up for life, and as always, it goes wrong. Take this premise and replace stealing money with the pornography industry, where Milo goes to do that last big film to take care of his family.
Then you have the subject of obsessions and if they go unchecked they ultimately destroy you and everyone around you. Milo obsesses about his old "glory days", Marko obsesses about the life that his brother has, Vukmir is obsessed about creating this new underground sensation. Which ultimately destroys each of them. This theme is prevalent in other films, Nekromantik comes to mind in this.
Then you have the part of Vukmir manipulating Milo, making him commit these acts against his will, ala Ichi the Killer.
These themes come together then you add the shock value. I'm not going into details about these scenes because they have already been mentioned in previous reviews. In some cases of the most shocking scenes of the film, less could have been more.
The "newborn" scene could have been far more shocking if there a little less shown. Not much is shown as is, however the context is supposed to be more shocking than what we actually see.
As for the "orgy" sequence I was at a loss. Because when it is revealed that it is his son, I expected a little more emotion out of it. What I'm saying is that ,you become attached to the family in the beginning of the movie. But, after all the events that take place you almost forget that Milo even has a family, at least I did. An example of much more powerful that revelation could have been: In Pet Cemetery when Gage gets killed and the father's memories come back to us as snapshots of Gage being born up to the present, is far more powerful and disturbing, because a connection is made. It reminds us who the person who died or in this case raped, it to the main character. The revelation in Oldboy, had that emotional connection as well.
That's just my opinion.
What bothered me the most is the end. The film is greatly filmed and the acting was very good. The film seemed to take itself very seriously until we get to the end. The line "Start with the little one." almost ends the movie like it was supposed to be this black comedy or the end to one giant "Dead Baby" joke. This destroyed the tensity of the film and kept it from being a strong almost "thought provoking film" to a cheap shock fest to get people talking about it ala Human Centipede.
Are things in this film horrible: Yes. Did it disturb me all that much: No. This movie seems to be for people to talk about that is not used to watching extreme horror.
Films like Nekromantik, Men Behind the Sun and Cannibal Holocaust are far more shocking (and still are to me) than this film. That's why I still own the other's and left this one behind.