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Thanatomorphose - Unearthed Films - Black Lava Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Written by Richard Taylor   
Friday, 20 May 2016


A.K.A.: Thanatomorphosis

Directed by: Éric Falardeau
Written by: Éric Falardeau
Produced by: Éric Falardeau
Cinematography by: Benoît Lemire
Editing by: Benoît Lemire
Special Effects: Rémy Couture, David Scherer
Cast: Kayden Rose, Davyd Tousignant, Émile Beaudry, Karine Picard
Year: 2012
Country: Canada
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 40min

Studio: Black Flag Pictures, ThanatoFilms
Distributor: Black Lava Entertainment, Unearthed Films

I always love to see Canadian indie horror releases on the market. Especially ones getting a good distribution from great companies like Black Lava Entertainment and Unearthed Films. Montreal, Quebec's Éric Falardeau directs this dark, dingy and unnerving exercise in utter depressing nihilism and that's a good thing! The word Thanatomorphose basically means decay or decomposition by death or due to death.  Falardeau has delivered an arthouse style drama with horror and gore elements along with some experimental techniques thrown in for good measure. It’s bleak, depressing and you can feel the desperation and isolation sinking into your subconscious from it.

Falardeau takes us on a gut churning journey in the apartment of Laura (Kayden Rose, Amy’s in the Attic, Matthew Saliba’s Vampyros Lesbos). The apartment is the setting for the whole movie so its role in the film is as much as important as any character. Laura's apartment also becomes her tomb as she becomes more and more isolated from the outside world. Laura has a destructive sex relationship with an oaf named Stephan (Roch Denis Gagnon) but one of her other male friends Julian (Émile Beaudry) also has a thing for her.

Laura is a struggling artist and her unfulfilled life is sucking the proverbial life out of her. She can't find inspiration to carry on and soon she finds herself languishing away, not only emotionally and mentally, but physically as well. Laura is dead on the inside and out. She rots more and more each day and is soon putting pieces of herself in jars. Thanatomorphose reeks of putrefaction and metaphors galore, but the decaying physical state Laura finds herself in is anything but metaphorical.

Director Falardeau exposes the physical and mental flesh of his characters with much sexuality and vigor. The intro into the film is a distorted scene of intertwining limbs and echoing groans shot in an art/experimental style with bright visuals and abrupt sound. We get some great makeup effects courtesy of Rémy Couture, Rosalynn Nguyen, Fauve Paradis, Veronique Poirier and David Scherer. We see Laura going through different stages of decomposition until the final act and they are absolutely amazing. Honorable mention in the gore effects department is especially high in one of the most effective and harrowing hammer bludgeoning scenes ever committed on film. Those sound effects!

One of my favorite segments in Thanatomorphose has Laura dreaming of her two lovers fighting over pieces of her meat as she is dissected by an unseen individual. It’s very effective, heavily metaphoric and delivered perfectly. The viewer is put right there in that apartment with her -- rotting with her in a tortured existence, staring up at that big vagina like crevice in the ceiling above her bed. It gets bigger and crumbles more as she does. The movie is effective with Laura's character because you can sympathize with her. She is not obnoxious, she is intelligent and pretty, in a simplistic way, but with some people in this real world they have become lost in their life and cannot be saved no matter the talent they have or goodness in their heart. All that is left are people dying and slowly rotting into oblivion day-by-day trying to find a sense of purpose and meaning and it never comes.

Thanatomorphose is a depressing film -- a torturous journey that builds up nicely to its conclusion. The movie has won numerous festival awards: Best Movie Award, XXX Festival de Cine de Terror de Molins de Rei (2012), Best Special Effects Award A Night Of Horror International Film Festival (2012), Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Most Repulsive Flick Awards House core Horror Festival (2013), Best Horror Film, The Phillip K. Dick Film Festival (2013) and Best Special Effects Award, Horrorant Film Festival Fright Nights (2014). Order Thanatomorphose from Black Lava Entertainment, Unearthed Films or check out the Thanatomorphose page on Facebook. Director Eric Falardeau also has a profile on Facebook and can be contacted through there.




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