Author Topic: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.  (Read 1527 times)

Offline Genophan

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Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« on: May 14, 2013, 03:28:55 AM »
In another time/place, I got roped into chosen mainstream movies.  The only proviso was that they were required to have some sort of sex/rape scene in them.  I always figured I was an odd choice for doing something like given my particular preference for Asian movies over Mainstream Western ones ...still, maybe that was the point, idk.

Anyway, it was a short lived experiment I guess but I thought I would repost my thoughts on the original movies that were selected back then and perhaps on a sporadic basis continue on with movies choices that catch my eye, for good or bad.

I am aware that in some cases I might fly in the face of popular opinion, so feel free to disagree.  Oh, goes without saying that what is written below could very well contain spoliers if you haven't seen the movie, but I guess I just said it.

Reviewed so far

The Woman 2011, USA
Student Serrvices 2010, France
Straw Dogs 1971, UK/USA
I Saw the Devil 2010, S.Korea
Splice 2009, Canada/France

Offline Genophan

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Re: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 03:32:23 AM »

Now, before I continue with this review it might be prudent to point out that 'The Woman' is in fact a direct follow on from McKee and Ketchum's earlier work called 'The Offspring'.  Now, this I mention for it can have a bearing on how the viewer actually perceives the Woman, in this movie.  For this feral femme fatale is far far from innocent in her own expoits in times past.  Though the Woman works perfectly well as a stand alone film and it isn't necessary to have watched the Offspring prior to viewing this, but you might be interested in tracking down for a watch afterwards.  Offspring centres around the survivors of a cannibalistic clan that live out in the woods and are making a meal of the locals.  Two parents, whose children have been kidnapped by these savages, strive to survive these cannibals and rescue their children.  As with this movie currently under scrutiny, there is a sub plot that compares the predatory civilised folk to their more animalistic opposites and out of the two films, I think I found 'Offspring' more entertaining ...however, that is not the one up for review, it is the sequel "The Woman".

The story is simple enough.  Chris Cleek, while out hunting, captures the last remaining member of this cannibal clan and brings her back home with the intentions of thrusting civilisation upon her.  If course, it isn't long before you realise that his intentions are far less noble beneath the surface.  The titular 'Woman' is played well by Pollyanna McIntosh, a feral creature in nature that we greet in the stylised and almost dreamlike opening sequence, however against this, the rest of the film looks quite flat and dull in comparrison.

The film is, for all intents and purposes actually an anti-misogynist flick, in spite of all the violence shown against women, and it displays, as does much of Ketchum's writing, that sometimes, the very worst that humanity has to offer can be right under your nose all along.

The scenes of torture really come across as being lacklustre, very tame, unimaginative and of little consequence, as well as pretty poorly shot.  Similarly the sexual abuse is lacking in any point or purpose, in fact to me Chris Cleek looked like an over joyful puppy dry humping her leg, while her character appeared disinterested ...something I can relate to by this point in the movie.  It is only in the last 15 minutes when things really kick into a somewhat of a higher gear when Peggy sets things in motion that cannot be halted.

The family exudes a quiet subdued chaos and slowly as the movie progresses, the cracks become very clear and we see just how 'un'wholesome this wholesome American family truly is, especially in the sequences that focus on the father raising his son in his own image, its not pretty and the family dynamic is clear.  In addition to this, though it is never explicitly made clear, the film often hints at a nonconsensual and incestuous relationship between father and daughter. At the very least we learn she's pregnant, a fact that fills her with abject terror. A pivotal moment where her father sits beside her on her bed and talks about her future while she cowers in a ball waiting for him to leave tells you everything you need to know about their relationship. Her character is the only one in the family to show the woman any sympathy, and is the only one willing to step in when her father takes things too far and for me, aside from the performance put forward by McIntosh, she is the standout of this movie.

There is a 'twist' to the ending that might seem out of place ...but in truth you can see coming a mile off if you pay attention to the dialogue throughout the film ...one of the most overt examples being when Chris berats his daughter at the 80 minute mark about her 'Idiot sisters' and you will likely note the use of the word 'anophthalmia' at stages during the film ...this is a medical condition relating to the congenital absence of one eye, bilateral anophthalmia being the abcense of both eyes of course, which is the condition suffered by the third sister (Socket Cleek) that we see in the later stages of the movie.  This perhaps also adds something to the understanding of what might be the driving force behind this movie and ultimately, perhaps, behind the father ...though there is no scope for redemption for the character of Chris Cleek, he is far too gone for that and when his end comes it is very well deserved.

In Summary

'The Woman' is a one of those films that seeks to grab you and drag you screaming into an unrelenting roller coaster ride of stomach churning and unforgiving brutality ...however ...in this it fails at virtually every step I am sad to say.  Far from being 'Unrelenting Terror', 'Gut Wrenching' 'Disgusting' & 'Disturbing' as various critics have described it, I found it 'Tired' 'Unimaginitive' 'Stale' & 'Amateurish'.  Its a nice premise but in the end is very poorly executed and suffers a little from a few logic problems.

So what went wrong?  It doesn't seem to be sure whether it wants to be a horror ...Gore Porn ...a black comedy or a coming of age story, and as a result it fails to be any of these to any great effect.  Now, I can understand that this movie wouldn't be for everyone, but I don't know, maybe I have just seen so many 'Gore Porn' and outright horror flicks over the years that it really has to be something really darkly disturbing and unique to get me to sit up and take notice ...and this didn't come anywhere near close and for the run of the film I was left wondering whether I was actually watching the same film that caused such 'outrage' with the critics.

The only real highlight for me was the subplot revolving around the sullen and moody daughter, Peggy, and the performance of Lauren Ashley Carter who played her.  This held my attention far more than any other aspect of this film.  In essence this film is very much 'Peggy's story'.

If you can look beyond the very brutal and somewhat fucked up veneer of this movie then what lies beneath actually carries with it a very positive message and a certain tenderness and poignancy that will likely go missed by many who watch it.

....and on a completely random note ...am I the only one who thought that the guy who played the father of the family looked like the double of Will Ferrall?

So, to the rating ...I shall be employing a simple score out of five for my reviews, similar to the story review club, and this flick gets a slightly below average 2 burning skulls out of a possible 5


Offline Genophan

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Re: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 03:34:24 AM »

Student Services ...nice double meaning to the title giving reference both to the department within a University as well as wry commentary on the nature of the film itself.  This is a film with serves to shed some light on a very modern epidemic, that being that the skyrocketing costs of education and living expenses away from home has forced an increasing number of students to sell their bodies as a means to financially get by.  The film is an adaptation of the novel by 'Laura D' which is in turn based on true events of her own early struggling student life (something I can very much relate to), and as such it gives the film a steady grounding in reality and enables it to stear a steadfast course throughout the potentially conflictory narrative with out sensationalising or being in any way overly salacious in its depiction of its content.

Personally I found it an interesting premise for a  film given my own interest and proclivity towards the subject matter of the film, namely prostitution.  So I watched this one with an interested eye to see just how it would approach the subject, it was actually refreshing to see prostitution portrayed the way it was in this movie.

Laura, who is played with great effect by Deborah Francois, is a hard working student striving to attain good grades.  She has a part time job but struggles to make ends meet, that is until while browing the the french version of craigslist she espies an ad from a guy in his 50's who is seeking a female student for some 'tender moments'.  Laura agrees to this and in so doing so embarks down a path that colours her outlook and decisions.  Laura begins selling herself as a means to pay the rent, but the film shows us how both she and her motives change, soon she's buying clothes and bags, and taking clients calls while at dinner with her new boyfriend (Mathieu Demy). She begins to assume that she's extremely streetwise, but there a couple of incidents that strip her of that notion.

The content of the film is portrayed in a fairly frank and intimate manner, but it never feels explotative as a result.  Sex and nudity (and I think Francois spends far more time in the film disrobed than not) is pretty much the staple currency in Laura's life, whether it is with her clients or her boyfriend and While the film is is undeniably 'downbeat' in its portrayal of the subject matter at hand, it never becomes preachy and starts to beat the viewer over the head with some sort of moralistic message, rather it presents itself very openly as a frank portrayal for you to make up your own mind about the situation she faces and the events that unfold through the choices she makes

The sex scenes are actually, to a one, pretty 'unsexy' but I feel that a conscious effort seems have been made in making this film to make them so by soaking the scenes in a certain nervous energy and not using any music during them.  There is not a great deal I can really say about the sex scenes in this one as although it is a focal point of the script, Laura is little more than a 'flesh doll' to slake the needs of her clientelle and it is very much a means to an eventual end, that just so happens to pay better than getting a second job waiting tables or something.

At no point does the movie glamourise this duel existence led by Laura, she does what she does simply because she needs too ...and hers is just one story of many.  In short, the film is interesting and worth a watch.  It is competently directed and well acted, although nothing stellar or out of the ordinary.  I give it a two burning skulls for a solid, if unremarkable flick.


Offline Genophan

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Re: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 03:36:42 AM »

Straw Dogs ...this film touts itself as a 'psychological thriller', and stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as David and Amy Sumner respectively.  David is a timid mathematician who strives to leave the chaos of his home and move to his young wifes hometown of Wakeley, some ficticious place in Cornwall.  It is far from the perfect relationship though and there is tension between the couple as David becomes immersed in his academic work and differing ideas regarding their roles in their relationship come to a head. David wants the traditional division of tasks, with the man earning wages, and the wife satisfying his needs in the kitchen and bed.  So already this film got on my bad side with its portray of this sexist bullshit, which serves only to date the film even more.  Amy, however, wants greater participation from David if she is going to accept such a role, she wants him to perform all the traditionally male tasks of the household, but also to involve himself in her community.  Frankly, the dynamic between the two did little to endear them to me and at this point I was getting restless and toying with the option of throwing this disc into the garbage and watching something else.

I persevered ...thoguh I do wonder why...

In due course, this predictable little flick sees the introduction of some of Wakeley's finest inbred specimens of mankind in the form of the 'Wakely locals', including rat catcher Chris, Norman and Riddaway as well as Amy's former lover Charlie who are doing repair work on the couple's isolated farmhouse.  Anyway, these fine examples of 'men', and frankly, four better better reasons to turn to lesbianism I couldn't find, start to show obvious disrespect and resentment towards David.  What follows soon after is David's discoverey of their cat strangled and hanging by a light chain in their bedroom closet. Amy claims the workmen did it to prove they could get into their bedroom and to intimidate David.

She presses him to confront the inbreeds, but he refuses. David tries to win their friendship, (er ...excuse me but wtf!?) and they invite him to go hunting in the woods the next day. Sorry ...what!? A timid mathematician who is too cowardly to confront them decised to go into the woods with them and hunt!?  Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and unfortunately this was pretty much par for the course of this film.  Anyway, they take him to a remote meadow and leave him there, promising to drive the birds towards him. Now having ditched David, Venner returns to the couple's farmhouse where he rapes Amy ...obviously this is the part of the film where Sam Peckerinpies was getting his jollies. Norman arrives shortly after and forces Venner by shotgun to hold Amy down and he rapes her as well.  After several hours, though possibly days or weeks, i'm not sure, the slow witted dullard of a mathematician finally figures out that he has been 'had' and rushes back to their isolated farmhouse only to find that Amy is withdrawn and somewhat dishevelled looking though she keeps the fact that she was raped from him.

The following day David sees fit to fire the lazy inbred builders, probably claiming that they were too lazy or too inbred, I'm not sure, I had wandered off to make a coffee at this point and missed it, perhaps the 5 minutes of film that followed in my absence was the best five minutes of it, I have no idea and I had little inclination to touch the rewind button with this film involved to be frank.  Anyway, after Amy and David attend a function later in the week, Amy becomes aggitated at seeing her rapist duo again (though, seriously, in a tiny hamlet of inbreeds did she really think she would never run into them again!?) and so Amy and David leave early ...and on the trip back see fit to run down the 'village idiot' though this individual was likely the smartest of the lot that lived in this little isolated hamlet so not sure whether calling him the 'idiot' holds any water.  Though continuning the theme that everyone who lives in Wakeley is either a rapist or a murderer, usually both, it would seem that the 'idiot' had strangled some young girl from the village.  Now, the father of this girl is the village 'drunk' or something and he is already looking for 'Le Idiote' Niles with the help of some workmen.

Now, at this point I really was rolling my eyes, was there not a lazy steriotyped character model that hadn't appeared in this damn movie so far?   Anyway, this lamentable flick droned on and as luck would have it, it isn't long before a bunch of drunken locals, including Amy's rapists, are pounding on the door of their farmhouse. After a few minutes of breaking the windows and hammering on the door, the local magistrate arrives and after attempting to defuse the situation, is shot dead by Tom by accident. At this point the father and the workmen agree that they cannot go back on what they have done, but only continue (..and at this point I was thinking about making a second coffee ...I recently bought a Gaggia machine, its really cool and I love experimenting with various blends, I have this vanilla mocha type one, tastes really weird though but not without its charm...oh, wait, where was I!?)

Anyway, David realises that they will not allow anyone in the house to live, which is remarkably quick witted of him considering he was content to spend most of the other afternoon sitting in a field counting clouds while his wife was raped.  He begins preparing to defend his home. First he heats two saucepans of cooking oil. Then, when one of the men attempts to unlock the window, he ties the man's hands together at knifepoint. As more men appear at another window, he scalds them with the boiling oil, temporarily incapacitating them. Then he lays down a large mantrap in his living room and sends Amy upstairs to hide.

This lackluster deisplay of violence continues and pretty much culminates when David triggers the mantrap over Amy's ex ...the end ...thank fuck for that.

I wish films like this would stop touting on about how 'controversial' they are, seriously.  Straw Dogs time has been and gone and up against the sort of films being released today it really doesn't stand the test of time and fails miserably in an effort to 'shock'.  This films is four decades old and does it ever show its age, both in production value and the manner in which it approaches the subject matter.  The violence is pedestrian and not very creative really.  The rape scene is more titillation than anything else and I found it really lacking in any real energy.

As I sat and watched this film, I was put in mind of the South Park episode when Cartmen and the boys go off in search of Lucas and Spielberg to make them pay for how they 'raped' Indiana Jones in the fourth and considerably the most dire of the franchise.  For the same is true here, the real victim of rape was never Susan George's character, but rather the original author of the book, Gordon Williams, on which this lamentable piece of celluloid crap is based.  Now, I admit I took it upon myself to get a hold of a copy of 'The Siege of Trencher's Farm' and so far have found the book a pretty good read ...the story is completely different to the bilge that it is forever linked to it though and it is a shame that some director nowadays doesn't pick up this book and decide to do it true justice and realise the vision that Williams had in his book.

So, in summary then.  This isn't the very absolute worst film that I have ever seen though it does sit quite neatly in the inauspicious top ten.  From start to finish it is ineptly concieved, badly acted, poorly characterisied, terribly scripted and littered with annoying and convienient, not to mention downright lazy, character steriotypes.  I wish I could find something positive to say about this crap, I can't.  This was the first time I had seen it and most definitely the last.

As for a mark ...well, sorry, but I can't even find it with myself to part with even a single burning skull for this bilge, not even a damply smouldering one.  This feculent film earns my very first ZERO rating! 

Offline Genophan

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Re: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 03:39:10 AM »

I Saw the Devil

Revenge is a theme quite often approached in movies ...but few movies (outside Korea) do it with such rich emotional style...

In reviewing this movie, this marks the fourth time I have actually seen it ...that alone should tell you something about the movies pedigree ...and, on the subject of 'pedigree' it is directed by one of South Koreas most respected Director/ screenwriters, Kim Ji-woon who has a very successful track record and is uniquely skilled when it comes to realising his vision through the silver screen.

Take for example his richly haunting family drama; A Tale of Two Sister which became the highest grossing movie in Korea, or, as already mentioned by Rogue, his 'Noodle' Western cult tour de force, 'The Good, The Bad and the Wierd'  Seriously, if you haven't seen this you have to rectify that now!

Now, add to this one of my own personal top five Asian actors, Min-sik Choi and already the pieces are in place to seriously excite.  Choi, like Kim, started his career in the theatre before diverging into film roles and he has rapidly become one of
Korea's most bankable and familiar faces, both at home and overseas ...I guess most will recognise him as Oh Dae-su in one of Korea's finest flicks and a perenial favourite of mine, Oldboy.

I Saw the Devil could easily have been just like any other serial killer thriller, but rather than follow well traveled routes, it takes it and twists it into an ever deepening meditation on the corrupting nature of evil that is every bit as disturbing in its journey as it is engaging.  This isn't a film for the weak of heart or delicate of stomach, but it is a film that will echo withyin you days ...weeks after you have watched it.

The story centers around Soo-hyeon Kim (Byung-hun Lee), whose fiancee goes missing one night after her car broke down on the side of the road. The girl's father is a local police chief, and after an extensive search the worst is confirmed when her body is found hacked to pieces and scattered in and around a creek. Her father is shattered, but Agent Kim deals with his grief in a different way, by seeking vengeance.

It doesn't take Kim long to find his man, a psycho named Kyung-Chul (Min-sik Choi) whose great thrill in life is abducting young girls, degrading them, then chopping them up into bits after he has them begging for their lives. If that wasn't enough, we quickly learn that sexual assault, intimidation, and generally hurting and/or murdering anyone he comes across are also personal passions of Kyung-Chul This man is clearly evil incarnate.

Now, Agent Kim isn’t interested in simply killing Kyung-Chul ...no, that would be too simple. Instead he chooses to trap the psychopath in an intricate game of cat-and-mouse, in which the killer's every move is countered by Agent Kim, and for every new foul deed Kyung-Chul attempts, Kim extracts another pound of flesh as punishment.  However, the line between hunter and prey is a thin one, almost to the point of transparency as the film contiues, and Agent Kim soon finds that he may be in over his head and in his quest for the ultimate revenge his sanity is crumbling.

For those of us that are fans of Korean cinema ....er ...me then -grins- then you will know how extreme it can get at times.  Now, I don't mean 'extreme' in the sense of the juvenile depiction of 'taboos' or the shock tactics that you tend to get in Western films, but rather their unnerving tendancy to gaze deeply into the very darkest still waters of human experience.  I Saw the Devil starts off on pretty violent and horrific tone and it only seeks to build on from that.

Kyung-Chul is probably, in all probability one of the single most brutal and unnerving killers I have seen for some time  ...In some ways I can draw parallels with this character and Hannibal Lecter as portrayed by Anthony Hopkin, for both cinematic killers share an 'intelect' that puts them far above the usual fare for celluloid killers, for akin to Hopkin, Min-sik Choi's sheer charisma and talent as an actor serves to make his utterly reprehensible character totally engaging and at times, comical ...though only innapropriately so

However, by contrast, Agent Kim is quiet, mostly expressionless, with an exception for a tempered raging fury in his eyes.  In truth, certainly compared to his nemesis, Kim is not the most exciting of characters to watch and in some ways makes his character a bit of a blank slate wo perhaps write our own emotive responses on.

I Saw the Devil, embraces cinemas obsession with serial killers.  Kyung-Chul nis encountered in full very early on in the film, and as such there are no illusions that this guy is the killer. He’s a lively and charismatic scene-stealer, and most of the movie’s run time is dedicated to following this psycho from one dark encounter to the next.

The film gets especially and deliciously bizarre as it progresses when Kyung-Chul attempts to take refuge in a hijacked home with a serial killer buddy of his, who also happens to be a cannibal. It is stops like these along this 'odyssey' of sorts that distinguish I Saw The Devil as a cult hit.

There are is a distinctly purposed way in which Kim shot this film, making it grossly intimate at the most disturbing moments possible but not in a gratuitous way, where there is some deep-seeded thrill at seeing these horrible or violent acts occur onscreen. In fact, the films awesome tension comes from seeing tightly-framed and excruciatingly long takes of Kyung-Chul gleefully committing some sick and merciless deed, while we, the audience, are held hostage as powerless voyeurs, practically praying in each instance that Agent Kim will swoop in to stop the bad guy and punish him before more human misery can be doled out.  This film is a testiment to the dark artisry of two of Koreas finest.

One great accomplishment of I Saw The Devil is that Ji-woon Kim manages to in some ways make the hero’s retribution equally as disturbing if not more disturbing than the killer’s indulgences. Each time Agent Kim 'punishes' Kyung-Chul, it’s in a way that makes your skin crawl. You are left wondering just how twisted his grief and loss are making him. Byung-hun Lee’s chiseled face, blank expression and that possessed look in his hollowed eyes are often scarier than the mischievous smile Min-sik Choi flashes before dispatching yet another victim. It’s a great juxtaposition that perfectly demonstrates the concept of what happens when one stares too deep into the abyss as that famous saying goes.

Not that this movie is 'perfect'probably some who view it will not understand or accept the concept of someone allowing a sadistic killer to roam free all for the sake of some deeper comitment to justice and revenge, for eveytime Kyung-Chul inflicts some brutal act on another innocent, it is hard not to be aggrivated by Agent Kim not taking this guy down from the outset ...and tat 'fault' alone might make some write this off as a dumb story that is all about a character making dumb decisions that no one in their right mind would in reality ...but in the end that is irrelavent.

I Saw the Devil is for people who know exactly what they are getting into and enjoy the experience of the extreme nature of Korean cinema ...or for people looking for something different and move involving than the conventional serial killer fare that gets churned out of the Western movie making machine.  This is a film that can turn your stomach and dim the lights on your soul just a little.

In summary.  This move has all the stark violent mayhem you would come to expect, but the real thing that sets 'I Saw the Devil' apart from its contemporaries is its underlying real emotional quality about how unrelentingly sad it can be.  I toyed with the mark for this ...obviously its going to be high ...the story isn't without its faults ...I wouldn't say it was perfect, but its dark journey is one to be applauded, the manner it approaches the genre is one to be exalted in, the sadistic delights of Min-sik Choi's newest iconic character is to be relished in ...

What else could I do but give this my highest accolade ...5 burning skulls


Offline Genophan

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Re: Geno's Random Movie Review Thread Type Thing.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 03:40:31 AM »

If you fuck with mother nature, your going to get fucked right back ...literally in the case of this film.

Fiddling around with 'Mother Nature' is a popular premise for many films and  one that stretches right back to the dawn of film itself, so, after all those years, any film that bases itself on such fare should be perfected ...should be challenging and fresh ...er ...at least, that would be my hope.  So ...were my hopes fulfilled with this promising little tale of gene splicing?

Genetic engineers Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use. They have just created the second in a pair of identical hybrids, the new male specimen, Fred, is intended as a mate for the original specimen, a female called Ginger.  How ...er ...quaint.  Of course though a success initially, what happens is pretty predictable, especially given the DNA strings they were attempting to blend ...I am a little surprised 2 so 'brilliant' scientists never really thought this through.

Anyway, the film doesn't end there, Clive and Elsa want to use human DNA to create a hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine, but are forbidden by the pharmaceutical company that funds their research, N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development), instead mandating that their department be re-organized to focus on finding and extracting certain proteins from the creatures they have already created. Secretly, Clive and Elsa conduct their own experiments, blending human DNA with that of other animals.  Now, what could possibly go wrong?  Well ...other than everything, but it seems that these two 'brilliant' scientists are anything but.

Although they initially decide not to bring the hybrid to full term, Elsa pushes the issue and persuades Clive to go along with it, in continued secrecy. The hybrid appears deformed and aggressive when it stings Elsa several times after "birth" with a retractable stinger in its tail. Clive and Elsa believe they have killed the hybrid only to find out that within the body was the true hybrid. After anesthetising and examining the creature, they discover that she is aging at an accelerated rate. Clive is still adamant that the creature should be killed, but Elsa convinces him that it is too late, and points out that, since the hybrid is slowly dying anyway, they should take advantage of this unique opportunity to observe its complete life cycle.

The scientists discover the creature is capable of breathing amphibiously and can live underwater too. Elsa eventually names the creature Dren, which is of course NERD backwards, because Elsa refuses to let Clive refer to her as a 'specimen'.  Due to Dren's demands on Clive and Elsa's time, they begin to neglect their work, failing to read the logs kept by the other lab technicians on the progress of their original animal hybrids, Fred and Ginger.

At the highly publicised 'unveiling' of the two specimens, instead of mating, as expected, Fred and Ginger violently kill each other, creating a public relations disaster for the NERD company. It is subsequently discovered that Ginger, the female hybrid, has spontaneously changed to a male, but Elsa and Clive had failed to notice because they have been so wrapped up in caring for Dren.  Though if either had of thought to ask me at the start of the film I could have pointed it out to them -shrugs-

Elsa forms a motherly bond with Dren, as Dren grows and learns at an accelerated rate. As their lab becomes more and more crowded, and after Dren attacks Clive's brother (a fellow lab technician), they move Dren to Elsa's late mother's farm. The audience learns that Dren has become carnivorous as she attacks and consumes a rabbit near the farm.

As Dren grows into adolescence, she becomes moody and petulant. She becomes bored being locked up in the barn, and wants to go outside, but Elsa and Clive refuse, as letting Dren outside could expose her to other people. Later on that week during a visit to Dren Clive looks at her and he suddenly realises that the human DNA used to make her was not from a 'Jane Doe', as Elsa had told him, but from Elsa herself. Eventually, Dren lashes out, killing a pet cat out of spite and then assaulting Elsa. Elsa reacts by reverting back to the role of scientist. She ties Dren up, refuses to speak to her (referring to her only as 'the specimen' again), and removing the stinger from her tail. She then uses the living tissue from the tail to finally isolate and synthesize the protein they had been searching for.

Soon after, Dren jumps naked on Clive, who initially refuses her sexual overtures. Clive and Dren end up having sex in a scene that, I admit, I did find somewhat interesting given the nature of Dren and it played to a few of my kinks, or at least it would have done had the director been a little more adventurous with the whole thing ...as it was, I found myself feeling as though I was just being teased and began to slowly resent the film for its lack of 'courage'.  Sadly, before things can start getting good, they are interrupted by Elsa. Clive follows Elsa back to their apartment, and they have a heated argument, in which Clive confronts her about having used her own DNA to create Dren. He accuses Elsa of never wanting a normal child because she was afraid of losing control, which was why she had insisted on creating a creature in the context of a scientific experiment, where control could be assured. He says that the line between right and wrong has become blurred. The two finally decide to terminate the experiment, and presumably end Dren's life.  However, when they return to the farm, they discover that Dren is dying. Some hours later, they bury her behind the barn.

Minutes afterwards, their boss from the lab arrives with Clive's younger brother Gavin. Gavin is aware of Dren's existence and has confirmed Barlow's suspicions that some sort of human hybrid has been created (due to the human DNA he found present in the samples Elsa worked with to synthesize the new protein). Just as Elsa is telling him that Dren is already dead, Dren attacks them, killing their boss and then Gavin. Clive and Elsa realize that, like Ginger, Dren has spontaneously changed sex, and is now male. Dren then attacks Clive, wounding him, then hunts down Elsa and rapes her.  This was a scene that had SO much potential, it ticked a lot of boxes for me, gender realignment, medical experimentation, plus by this time I was really begining to 'hate' the character of Elsa as she was singularly the most annoying character in the film.  But ...just as before, this scene never really makes its mark and I was left wanting once more.

This time it is Clive who acts as the 'killjoy' and stabs Dren through the chest with a scythe. Dren attacks Clive again, but Elsa hits Dren on the head with a large rock, knocking him to the ground. Just as she raises the rock again to deliver the fatal blow, Dren meets her eye, and she hesitates. In Elsa's moment of hesitation, Dren quickly stabs Clive through the heart with his tail stinger (which has grown back), and Clive is killed. Elsa then slams the rock down on Dren's head, killing him.

In the final scene, Elsa is seen in an office with the head of the NERD pharmaceutical company. The latter tells Elsa that Dren has turned out to be quite valuable, as his body apparently contains countless chemical compounds and genes that have never been seen before. The company, she says, will be filling out patents for years. She refers to the 'very generous' amount of money that Elsa has been offered in exchange for her silence over Dren and for taking the experiment to the 'next stage'. Elsa appears to have already accepted the offer. She stands up and is revealed to be pregnant, saying 'What's the worst that could happen?'  Well, I am sure by now we can all predict what this predictable fare would offer, if they ever decided to make a sequal to this.

This should have been a good film ...yet, however 'promising' its premise is ...is sadly lacking and fails to ever break free of the bonds of predictability and disappointment.  It promises much but deliversd surprisingly little and as a result, the highly predictable ending ...which shouldn't have surprised anyone given the events earlier in the movie, fails to truly satisfy.

The singular standout part of tis film is Delphine Chaneac who played Dren, with the aid of special effects of course, but her portrayal of this character is let down only by the script and the lack of courage on the part of the director.

If I had just reviewed this film from memory as I had seen it a few months ago, rather than rewatch it, I would probably have given this flick three burning skulls ...unfortunately, I watched it again, and with a more critical eye and found myself mentally picking it apart piece by piece and it didn't make for a pretty sight, so on the rewatch I would have given it just one ...I have, however, decided to split the difference and give it two burning skulls.

It could have been so much more ...it should have been so much more ...and perhaps in the hands of a more competent, well, certainly braver director, it could have been.  Its worth a watch but ultimately feels rushed, especially with regard to the final portion of the film, and thusly falls short of its enticing premise.