A QUICK WORD
“Gut” is one of the indie horror films that I’ve tackled over the years at the site. Unfortunately, it shares many of the same problems of those lower budget productions. There are way too moments where vague characterization, way too many lifts from other horror films and a general sense of malaise kill the momentum. If that sounds familiar, well it’s because it’s indicative of the state of horror today. I know several people that work in and around the industry that will claim that Modern Horror doesn’t suffer from any issues. I don’t buy that.
There comes a time where the curse of the VHS generation shall be revisited upon its descendents. When the material is readily available and easy to observe, then the new material stops being original and turns into crafted homage. Does that make it bad? No, far from it. However, it hurts the viewer that embraces horror to the point that everything becomes over saturated in similar. That being said, I do see an amazing film right under the surface of “Gut”.
“Phobia” was different for me. While it suffers from of the easy lifting, as the first film…it differs. More than anything, it reminds of ground covered in the video game “Alan Wake”. Using a central figure’s sense of time and space while balanced against real-time changes produces something interesting. Just because you’re working on a lower budget doesn’t mean you need spectacle. Horror is at its most effective when it challenges our perceptions and sense of an established world. More than anything, both films me as flip sides of the same coin. How does one handle a threat to the domestic? Do you internalize and battle within one’s psyche? Do you act out and possible trip into worlds that you can’t understand? If you have the opportunity, I recommend checking out both films.
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