4/18/17

THANATOMORPHOSE (2012)

Written by: Timi-Petri Aho.

The so-called "body horror" genre has literally been runaway for many years despite the quick attempt from David Cronenberg who, with his signum, tried to reinvent himself with his latest movies and more slippery from his roots with films such as Shivers, Scanners, Rabid and Crash. As the years gone by and David Cronenberg, as well as his Japanese counterpart Shinya Tsukamoto (director of Tetsuo - The Iron Man) have fallen down, other directors have tried to bring the relay pinned on and revolutionize the genre, which I would call body-horror v. 2.0. Directors like Brandon Cronenberg (son of David) released his debut movie Antiviral in 2012 and the Canadian brother Éric Falardeau released his debut film Thanatomorphose after making a couple of short films.

I myself have a very strong relationship with body horror, Cronenberg has been one of my great households since early teens, since I saw Scanners and The Fly early on VHS. Thus, it isn't surprising that you have a lot of expectations for a movie about the decay of human flesh in combination with sex, violence and evil death. The award for the film is very nice to start with the very essence of the review, it reminds a lot of hallucinations in the best photo taken from any Gaspar Noé movie while it looks like a couple of two people in an ongoing LSD rush. After the picture of the rush has been declined and the title image has rolled by, the photo goes on to a more normal and follows the play of the intercourse, which seems to be very sad that there is strife and anxiety in the protagonist's relation to his one night stand.

This movie is about a young and beautiful woman who literally "falls in to pieces". The apparently remarkably unimpressive woman lives in a very destructive relationship (both physically and emotionally) that slowly squeezes her life away, waking up a day with mysterious bruises and skin rashes spreading over the body. She's rotten while still alive.

The night comes and goes, and in the morning the woman who plays the main character wakes up (some names of the characters never appear, just like in Antichrist), starting with skin rashes and bruises on the body. With the rest of the movie in my head now, after I've seen it, this whole scenario is very inspired by Franz Kafka and his short novel transformation. What happens next is that the woman's body is beginning to decay, break apart and rot. It begins with the nails falling away, blood in the urine and stools, and skin rashes begin to resemble Stephen Johnson-syndrome, which you can get if you eat Lamictal.

This skin rash does not feel misplaced when the woman is eating tablets twice or three times in individual scenes and in combination with her loose sex life, she could be bipolar and eat Lamictal. The solvency of the main character may well (as well as causing anxiety and misery to all involved) be an allegory of sexually transmitted diseases, and especially HIV and AIDS. In addition to the symptoms of the actual skin disease Stephen Johnson the woman's skin and body just sees as typical as a person with these diseases, and the withdrawal symptoms are very similar to AIDS.

Besides the film inspired and flirting very much with Franz Kafka, it also includes traces of stop-motion resembling of Evil Dead's and Jan Svankmajer's short-motion movies. The film is also incredibly nice in its photo, the atmosphere are dense and heavy, the smell of rotten meat was literally in the air as it smelled garbage and decay in the stairwell while me and my friend saw the film. It gave a very suggestive feel to the movie and I completely disappeared into the film after a short while, it's a good sign that a movie delivers and succeeds in its job, in this case more than just hiding.

Thanatomorphose is really a fresh fan in the horror film world, especially the new and fun while Canada continues to deliver great movies. This was also a good proof that the body horror genres got a fresh start and live again, the best movie in the subgenren since Crash from 1996

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.



Directed by: Éric Falardeau
Written by: Éric Falardeau
Produced by: Patrick Brissette, Éric Falardeau,
Marie-Josée Lamontagne, Benoît Lemire

Cinematography by: Benoît Lemire
Editing by: Benoît Lemire
Special Effects by: Rémy Couture, Rosalynn Nguyen,
Fauve Paradis, Véronique Poirier, David Scherer

Music by: The Black Angels.
Cast: Kayden Rose, Davyd Tousignant, Émile Beaudry,
Karine Picard, Roch-Denis Gagnon, Eryka Cantieri,
Pat Lemaire, Simon Laperrière

Year: 2012
Country: Canada
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 40min

Distributor: Black Lava Entertainment/ Unearthed Films


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