Saturday, November 1, 2008

SALVAGE (Joshua & Jeffrey Crook, 2006, USA) Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Claire is a young woman who has traversed the nebulous boundaries of reality and whose life has suddenly took a turn for the surreal. Claire seems to be experiencing an inescapable waking nightmare; stalked by her killer, a taunting journey of underserved fear and brutality, this nightmarish landscape transforms the familiar into an alien environment of dread and loneliness. “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.” This no budget horror flick navigates the conventional territory of the horror genre but gives us reason to pause, its destination the ice-cold depths of Hell’s inner circle, the guilty sentenced to an eternal verdict of retributive justice. The Crook Brothers utilize a hand-held digital camera, which imbues the film with a soft and hazy image, like dust motes suspended in a sliver of summer’s last light. This grainy and unfocused digitized byproduct actually makes the narrative more unnerving and eerie. The score becomes hollow like a whisper echoed through the tunnel of our subconscious, magnified by our fear and imagination. But the soundtrack becomes distracting with the inane pop music that lessens the suspense and cheapens the narrative trick. The plot folds back upon itself; impregnated with nightmare logic, sense becomes non-sense and things (and people) are not quite what they seem. Through a steamy mirror we see darkly, the only thing that matters in the end is how we feel, what we feel…not what we perceive. The antagonist receives his just desserts but can his fractured soul be salvaged from the junkyard of perpetuity? (C)

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