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Victim - IFC Films Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
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Written by Ray Casta   
Friday, 08 April 2011

Victim Poster Art on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Matt Eskandari, Michael A. Pierce
Written by: Michael Hultquist, Robert Martinez
Produced by: Michael A. Pierce, Mark Williams
Cinematography by: Nelson Cragg
Music by: Rob Simon
Cast: Stephen Weigand, Bob Bancroft, Brendan Kelly, Bru Muller, Wayne Morse, Stacy Haiduk, Dianne Kwon
Year: 2010
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 30 min

Distributor: IFC Films

From its bizarre trailer and synopsis, "The Human Centipede" instantly piqued interest across the horror community.  A movie about a deranged doctor sewing three people ass to mouth?  It was advertised to be "medically accurate," and the concept was every bit as odd as it was unique and imaginative.  I was one of the many who anticipated its release on Video On Demand / DVD.  Unfortunately, the movie failed to live up to its ridiculous hype.  For me, the movie was a total disappointment.  It had a creepy lead villain and a great concept, but it came off too much like a one-trick pony.  Essentially an overlong "stunt," the gimmicky concept was simply not enough for a feature length movie about an insane doctor and his "experiment."  Here comes Matt Eskandari and Michael A. Pierce's "Victim," a horror flick not unlike "The Human Centipede," in the way it has a unique concept about a mad doctor, but not much else.

The movie opens to credits spliced together with flashes of a video camera view filming an attractive young woman being sexually assaulted in a hotel room.  The assailant is never seen.  Sitting in a bar alone, The Young Man (Stephen Weigand) greets and charms a bartender.  He exits the bar and makes it to his car only to get surprise attacked and knocked out by two men.  He wakes up in a cell, where he gets acquainted by the two men who abducted him.  What could they want with him?  One of his kidnappers, Dr. Volk (Bob Bancroft) seems to be the ring leader of the plan.  The other man is called Mr. George (Brendan Kelly), a hulking sidekick to the creepy doctor.  Soon it becomes obvious this is not an ordinary kidnapping.  They have a special plan for the young man.

Regrettably, the movie does not offer anything new in the realm of kidnap thrillers.  You have the young man pleading and wincing for help, and begging for his captors to let him go.  He tries to escape and fight back, albeit unsuccessfully.  Then, you have the absolutely worthless and tired subplot of a female detective that is nothing but filler to pad out its run time.  Alone in his cell, the young man reads from a diary written by a little girl, and the audience is provided with a voice-over from her.  In between the diary readings, the young man gets tormented by his captors and is experimented on by the doctor.

Plot holes and clichés plague "Victim."  The filmmakers fail to salvage the movie from its most detrimental issues.  A movie like "Victim" hinges on a "twist," and it becomes so obvious before the halfway point that I'd frankly be shocked if it'll surprise anyone.  Viewers will wonder why the doctor is experimenting on the young man -- and a large majority will be able to figure it out even if they aren't paying much attention to what's on screen.  When a twist is overly discernible, I'd expect the director to give me a reason to care.  This movie gives viewers absolutely no reason to care about what happens.  If it just wants to "shock," it falls short in that regard as well.  Once the "experiment" is realized and carried out, it is possible viewers will easily find it cringe-worthy.  In its execution, it feels juvenile and unbelievable.

Originally, "Victim" was a short film called "Retribution" and it was made for practically no budget.  It was 12 minutes in length and it spawned the feature film.  From the looks of it, the concept would have been better off kept as a short film.  Ideas only get you so far.  If they aren't executed properly, the whole project will suffer.  There is an attempt to say something about tragedy and victimology here, but the screenplay by Michael Hultquist and Robert Martinez is so one-dimensional, we have no one to care about and no reason to invest our time into the piece.  The movie is well performed (Bob Bancroft does a solid job as the doctor) and competently shot, but I was left with an empty feeling and I couldn't help but feel its 180 degree turn is too much of a insult on viewers.  Like the widely overhyped "The Human Centipede," "Victim" is a interesting concept that instantly becomes too silly for its own good.

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

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Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

Victim Screenshot Image on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 April 2011 )
 
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