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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


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.