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Outer Space: Hexus Journal Pick An Experimental Horror Bakers Dozen
The Quietus , October 13th, 2017 10:06

To start our run up to Halloween, Thogdin Ripley and Philippa Snow of avant-horror publishers Hexus Journal pick thirteen films that blur the worlds of horror and the avant-garde to frightening, funny and sometimes shocking effect

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Amer (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2009)

More Giallo than Giallo, Amer sexes up, streamlines, then Frankensteins conventions of the genre into something like a patchwork of cool, clinical perversion. It’s the kind of psychosexual nightmare that might well inspire a fashion editorial, and I mean this as a compliment. A switchblade in a woman’s mouth; the sound of creaking leather; sex scenes filmed in green, then blue, then red, as repetitious as they are erotic — a terrific source of Facebook cover pictures and a knowing pastiche, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s sado-thriller is tripartite, with its parts connected by the story of a young, repressed girl-pervert growing up into a dangerous, sexually-fantasist femme freak.

Leather gloves aside, Forzani and Cattet make no attempt to hide their cinematic heroes’ fingerprints. It owes a hefty debt to Dario Argento, as expected. There are touches of Bunel, an ant inside a woman’s navel being an ant-as-death in the Surrealist mould. There’s a far too handsome motorcycle gang included to denote a looming threat, a unified male gaze. Our adolescent female hero gazes back. Her gaze looks hungry. “This is basic movie Freud,” The Guardian sniffed,”[but] elegantly mounted.” Which, to me, seems fine — what’s wrong with being elegantly mounted? Sexual repression, Amer argues, breeds disaster.

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