Dir: Matt Eskandari, Michael A. Pierce
Starring: Stephen Weigand, Bob Bancroft, Brendan Kelly, Stacy Haiduk
Talk about a film that throws the viewer a huge punch! Victim was not at all what I was expecting, judging solely by the title and cover. I went into this completely blind, I had no idea what the premise was, and I was honestly expecting some kind of gore-fest. What I got was not that at all but a horror/thriller/psychological ride that will likely stay with me for a long time.
This is a film that really is best to be seen without any sense of plot. So in order stay true to that, I’ll be as vague as possible. A young man is abducted as he leaves a bar one night, he is held captive by a doctor and his henchman. Strange procedures are inflicted upon the man, he doesn’t know why. Soon enough, all gets revealed in a shocking twist and this becomes the ultimate tale of revenge.
Already I feel like I have revealed too much, but I will leave plot details there and focus on the rest. The version we have for the Australian release runs around 71 minutes long, upon checking IMDB, it states the film has a 90-minute running time. I am not sure what was cut or edited for this release, but this version works a treat. It keeps a sense of mystery throughout the entire film, right up until the final moments. I liked that the audience is just thrown into the story, and we’re left to fend for ourselves.
The editing job here is quite astounding, it is tight and sharp, it gets to the point and nothing is over drawn. The way this film works is to just give out enough information that you can make an assumption as to what is going on. It is clear there is something strange, and not quite right going on. The motivations aren’t made clear to begin with, and the viewer is left to question what they are seeing.
The film for the most part takes place in one location, it looks grand and it really suits its atmosphere. It was shot really well; the picture is sharp, and the colours vibrant. There is no indication of what type of budget the film had, it doesn’t look cheap nor does it treat itself that way. The filmmakers did an excellent job with everything, and this is a film that should be seen and experienced, to see all the different layers they’ve placed in here.
The direction, script and performances are all very solid, with Stephen Weigand being especially courageous to tackle this role. Bon Bancroft was quite a surprise, in a role that could have easily been a caricature; he managed to keep it grounded in reality. In all Victim is a solid film, and it comes highly recommended from me. It isn’t what you might expect, and that is a good thing. It is refreshing to see something that kept me second guessing myself, and a really deep seeded psychological piece.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is 16:9/2:35:1/ presentation.
Picture is fantastic quality, very crisp and sharp, I was impressed. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0, it is very clear and definitely works effectively.
Extras: The DVD release will come with additional English subtitles.
DVD details here.
Thanks to Bill at Gryphon Entertainment for the copy.