Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Ugly (1997)

The 90's was the worst decade for horror films. Everything was watered down thrillers and the world was becoming politically correct fast. We also had the introduction to cgi which was another murderer of the horror genre. There was some good foreign films here and there, especially Chinese Category Three films. In the late 90's a film from New Zealand called The Ugly stirred up a bit of controversy. The Ugly is a surreal look at a serial killer named Simon. Simon reveals his life story to us through a female doctor. The movie makes the audience feel sympathetic and repulsed by Simon at the same time. He was tormented as a kid by bullies and his psychotic mother. He eventually starts hearing voices which tell him to kill his mother. Simon listens to the voices and slashes his mothers throat in her sleep with a Gialo style straight razor. Simon is sent away but is released by the time he is 17. He is only supposed to be about 12 years old at the time he killed his mother. Once Simon is released back to the sick world he is haunted by his mothers corpse who tortures him mentally until he kills again. Each new victim becomes a new visitor in Simon's warped mind. Simon explains how this is a vicious circle, "Each time they make it harder for me. They won't leave me alone until I do it". The Ugly cuts in and out of dreams and reality, past and present along with different perspectives. One moment we will be inside Simon's head and the next we will be in the doctors. However The Ugly never gets confusing. The unique style of editing and cutting does not work against the film at all. Instead it adds a creepy layer of surreal imagery. Another thing that I find odd about this movie is that the blood is a dark black. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of this is but it also makes the film a bit more scary. The Ugly plays like a smarter version of Henry : Portrait Of A Serial Killer and is under rated. I have heard this film compared to Hollywood movies like Seven and Silence Of The Lambs, neither of which I am a fan of. To me this is a insult! The Ugly is a visually stunning film with more style then either one of those films. The trailer for The Ugly calls it the most "daring film since Reservoir Dogs".  This statement seems much more accurate to me.

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