Sunday, 2 May 2010

Neighbour - FAB Fest, Filmhouse - 2/5/10



I was just thinking back over some of the highlights from "Neighbor" and I had to throw up.

The scene where she...eeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhh.


It's just that whenever I think about the moment when sheeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhh.

When "The Girl" (America Olivo) turns up in Dons neighborhood after torturing and slaughtering a family somewhere up the road a ways you just know that things are not going to end well. "The Girl" does not disappoint and before long Don is being subjected to all manner of unspeakable acts involving hammers, drills, nails and...a twizzle stick. I can't tell you what she does with those things because I want to avoid making my readers run screaming from their computers (at least until the end of the review) but suffice to say none of it is good news for Don.

Some films are nasty and downright unpleasant just for the sake of it (hello Eli Roth) and have no intention other than to make people shut their eyes or leave the cinema altogether. In the process they inevitably manage to show the worst aspects of men by subjecting the females in the films to rape, torture and brutality just for yuks. Such films proudly march along under the banner of torture "porn" and as with the "real" porn industry it exists solely to objectify women. It's not big and it's not clever.

"Neighbor" however, thanks to director Robert A. Masciantonio, manages to sharply turn the whole insidious little sub-genre on its head simply by having a female visit the self same horrors onto a male victim. Fabulously it also manages to avoid giving a phoney "happy" ending...instead things end well only for "The Girl". It's not a film that is going to play on the Disney channel anytime soon, nor is it the sort of film that will appeal to everyone with an interest in the horror genre...the reason for that is it doesn't actually play by the rules and people don't like that. I like it though and I liked "Neighbor" because of it.

Masciantonio has managed to produce something that is unsettling and dark, for sure, but he has also littered the film with humor and references to all manner of other films from "Jaws" to "Funny Games". He knows his films and he, clearly, knows how to make films too. With good fortune "Neighbor" will find its audience and then other people might start to pay more attention to a director with ideas and visions. We live in hope.

It is important to note too how fabulously deranged America Olivo is as "The Girl". A relative unknown she gives a performance that should, if there is any justice in the world, propel her into the public eye. She is absolutely perfect here...the most terrifying screen killer since, well, take your pick. Her performance is elevated above the typical "girl in horror movie" fare by Olivos physical performance...something about the way she moves, a languid fluidity, makes her appear almost unreal or animalistic. This is an actress whose name is worth remembering. Certainly you won't forget her after seeing what she does with a twizzle stiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhh.



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  2. I'm glad you had fun at the screening but sorry that I made you puke so many times.

  3. No apology required Robert.

    I needed to lose some weight and I had a blast doing it this way!

  4. Such a great film! Two words WORMS EEEEEEEW!! but it was funny as well as gory which really came through. Good job!