When I got back from my latest visit to South Carolina I found a film sent to me that had no prior notification. The name of the film was "Anti Horror" and the info booklet touted of a winner of 5 awards from the Tisted Sinema Film Festival. Unsure of what I had in my hands, I decided to give this little intruder a whirl. Mentally, I don't think I was well prepared for the imagery that would show up on my TV screen.
Uber low budget director Gregory Kane(Scealf) wants to make a horror movie that exposes the audience to such twisted events that it makes them question their moral integrity. Rounding up a dedicated group of actors, he sets off to a haunted area known as Raven's Hollow to film the majority of the movie. After filming the necessary segments to his work of art, Gregory and his cohort David drug the actors and bring them back to a secluded studio where the REAL horror film takes place.
A very stylish film from the introduction, Anti Horror is perhaps one of the most well shot films I have ever seen, both on a Hollywood and Independent level. Utilizing gamma distortion and hauntingly plain black and white filmwork, Director Don Benjamin presents one pretty piece of eye candy. Complimenting the stellar camera work is some mighty fine editing which keeps the film flowing and the viewer completely mesmerized by the imagery in front of them. I was blown away when I read that it only took $600 to shoot the film and am very eager to speak with Mr. Benjamin about the magic he created.
Floating along on the visual clouds of Anti Horror, I was soon dropped on my head as the film changed settings from the trippy outdoors to a confined "reality tv" studio. Gone were the beautiful B & W transitions and vivid color overlays, now replaced by an "in your face" gritty look that smacks the audience out of their hypnotic state. Once these poor actors get chained to the walls of the studio, Gregory has his fun and the viewer's eyes become trained on some pretty disturbing events. From tearing the flabby flesh off an older woman's underarm to force-feeding a man concealed fishhooks, Anti Horror maintains a steady level of insanity until......
Yes, the film does have a flaw - a very anticlimactic ending. Although it doesn't entirely ruin the integrity of Benjamin's masterpiece, Anti Horror's ending left me with a feeling similar to Haute Tension's "plot twist" - disappointed and screaming for a re-shoot. It was this miniscule turn of events that kept Anti Horror from achieving that perfect score and grabbing my brass ring.
Luckily, I don't judge a film solely on its ending, and I do recognize the immense wealth of talent that Don Benjamin has. As a director, he is a scriptwriter's wet dream - a man that can not only capture the perfect shot, but add style and visual appeal to it. Expect big things from this name, hell, even the movie if it gets the distribution it deserves.