Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Review Of "Don't Despair"

 Alfred Giancarli's serial killer short film "Don't Despair" is a mix of character study and ultra-violence. The story is set up with two sort of "anti-protagonist" characters who both collect the same obscure, taboo memorabilia. In this situation a sale is made for a piece of hard-to-find, fetish, torture porn that was once owned by a notorious serial killer that both collectors idolize. "Don't Despair" stars Erin Etheridge, Kevin Reed and Bec Fordyce.

The story is one that fits a genre of film that sort of makes me cringe, often I find it hard to watch the "all out" torture-porn stuff because it often glorifies the kill sequences in a snuff-like manner rather than telling a story. Most times the killers are the stars and the victims no more than props. I wasn't sure what this film was really going to be about, I was shocked that it is the story that it is. Expected the whole "spider traps a fly" type deal. This was not that. 

"Don't Despair" is shot very well, in controlled, quality. The story is dark, almost completely devoid of satire, and without actually being so- quite surreal. Or maybe my experience watching a film that normally I would pass up was the surrealism seeping in, not sure. Either way I completed this short film all the way through. With some aspects bothering me, and some actually entertaining. The stuff that bothers me is the fact that, even though the female lead is slightly over-acted, both leads are likable, relatable characters. They are killers, and gross, and nonhuman, and yet completely recognizable. I liked the dialog, it was well thought out, delivered nicely, and told a complete story while building up these characters.

The special effects in "Don't Despair" are pretty quality as well. The victim-or masterpiece-as she is refereed to, is done in  a very realistic style with the actress giving complete, hopeless, victim. I usually only like films like this if it allows the victimizers to receive karmic justice. That is not the case in this film. She is merely a prop and a catalyst for this twisted beginning of a serial killer love affair. Overall I wouldn't watch this again, but I can honestly say, with my soul intact, it is a good indie short film that shows a truly disturbing slice of life that isn't often explored.

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