Sunday, April 21, 2013

Big Bad Wolves (2013) Tribeca 2013

If you could have been in the screening room when this film ended you would have heard the sound of a good number of critics (particularly associated with Unseen and Flixist) groaning at what is probably the biggest disappointment of the festival. I say this because a good number of people going into the screening had this at the top of the absolute must see list for the festival (Everyone had LOVED the directors earlier film Rabies). When it was done there was long discussions that lasted through the next film trying to figure out what had gone wrong and trying to figure out is there anyway the film can make sense.

The plot of the film has the police looking for a serial killer, He kills young girls and then leaves their bodies where they can be found and keeps their heads. What transpires is that the police get a lead and beat up a suspect. When the beating shows up on You Tube, the detective responsible is suspended. He then decides to go after the the same time that the father of the latest victim does too.

Nominally filmed as a black comedy the film is a kind of weird one where everyone is constantly getting interrupted in what they are doing. It's a ploy that, for a while adds a nice nervous tension. Very well acted and frequently beautifully staged (The opening credits are amazing and sadly promise a better film) the film is technically wonderful....

...however the script is a big mess. Beginning with the tone the film pretty much falls down everywhere. Is this a comedy? A serial killer film? A horror film? A gross out film? The film doesn't seem to know so it bounces from style to style with the greatest of ease.

The worst part  is the fact that the film is a complete mess in regard to the plot. The rules change as needed. For example anytime someone goes up and down a certain flight of stairs you hear it except when one character has to be surprised.

Things aren't explained, why was the student there to film the beating?

And the time frame of events is completely mucked up.Someone is kidnapped and for the life of me I can't figure out based on the clues in the film when that could have happened since the kidnapper was supposedly under surveillance the whole time. Peter Gutierrez and I spent the better part of an hour trying to make events as depicted in the film work but never could.

There are numerous other plot points that make zero sense but since as this posts the film has only just finished it's world premiere screening  I won't go into them, but rest assured that nothing in this film makes sense if you look at it.

On the plus side the film is frequently funny but at the same time it undercuts the horror and suspense which the film decides late in the game is what the film is really about.

A major disappointment for me.

My advice, if you want to see it wait for Netflix (then at least its worth the effort)

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