was just a bit too touchy feely, don't you think? And Gaspar Noé's excruciating long takes in
were not quite excruciating and long enough, am I right? Didn't the soul-crushing violence in the last few minutes of the devastating
leave your soul in a coma not quite deep enough to finally drown idiotic invented concepts like "hope" and "beauty"? And that hunger for more grisly head-bashing that has been nagging at you since you saw
is only growing stronger, isn't it? Wouldn't it be nice to finally feel nothing but utter despair, to endure 80 minutes of meticulously choreographed sadism and be shat out into the blackness of end credits that mirror the cruel void against which every one of us briefly flares up into craven existence before being sucked back down into mindless muck? You do agree that the first thing this world needed was another horrific argument against ever opening the front door again, right? That the sort of slow suffering caused by joykilling masked men is a subject that hasn't been beaten to death in grisly enough fashion yet? Yes? Here's
then. Enjoy? CHRIS STAMM.
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's 1976 sun-dappled Mediterranean shocker achieved cult notoriety even as it remained nearly impossible to find; I first read about it thanks to film bloggers like Oregon native
, and couldn't wait to see if it was as disturbing as heralded. In spades. The movie follows a wonderfully decent British couple (Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome) on Spanish holiday as they arrive on a remote island to find the local youngsters undertaking a generational cleansing: They'll truss anyone over 15. After an opening montage of wartime atrocity that answers the title question—we all have, by proxy—the film proceeds at a pace that is remorselessly unnerving and, by current standards, impossibly controlled. What's most agitating are the playful grins and giggles; the movie's piñata party is unforgettable, and the final 20 minutes are conceptual horror devastation to rival the original
. AARON MESH.
SEE IT: The Festival of New Spanish Cinema screens at the NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium from Friday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 23. See full listings at nwfilm.org.