Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review - Masks (2010 - Dir. Andreas Marschall)

If you want to watch a film that explores what a person is willing to do to reach the pinnacle of their profession, with a stunning central performance and some nasty little bits of self harm, watch Black Swan.

If you want to watch a fantastic giallo set in a school, with imaginative deaths galore, great music and beautiful visuals, watch Suspiria.

If you want to watch a scene where you see a sharp weapon pierce someone's mouth, watch Opera (not that keen on the film as a whole, but the knife in mouth incident is cool).

If you want to watch a film with a strange 'milking' machine and a daydream sequence followed by the heroine dying, hanging upside down, watch The Pack.

You get the idea. All of the elements of Masks have been done better elsewhere. I don't mind films homaging, ahem, other films but they've got to be interesting in their own right.

If the giallo is going to be reinvigorated, something new has got to be brought to it. As a giallo, there are not enough deaths in the first half. As a character study, there are too many deaths. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be and comes away not doing anything very well.

Stella, our heroine gets accepted into an unorthodox acting school and soon becomes embroiled in some nasty shenanigans involving private acting lessons using a method that incorporates drug taking, being knifed and attached to the aforementioned 'milking' machine. Maybe this method could be used to raise standards in schools. Don't tell the government because they're likely to go for it.

Masks picks up in the final stages with some tension, but by then, it is too late to lift it out of the dull and murky waters of Tedium Lake.

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