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quietearth [Film Festival 06.07.08] movie review scifi horror thriller

Year: 2007
Director: Robert Pratten
Writers: Robert Pratten (screenplay) & William Scheinman (book)
IMDB: link
Trailer: link (NSFW)
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Oh yeah, let's throw scifi in there too. Why? Hold on a minute, let me get to the story. The beginning, phase shift a woman in and out of reality. The driver pulls over, investigating the spot where her shimmer once stood, complete confusion. Going home, adding it to the book of sightings, pinning it on a map. Chris is a taxi driver so he get's around, the map being a large knot of pins. Confused yet? It gets better.

Introduce all the characters, the unpleasant female dispatcher, the black friend, a quasi-girlfriend, and another guy I can't remember because it was really that incoherent. These people are affected early on by Chris's visions, having some of their own. The fabric of reality is tenuous with Chris which leaks to them. But this is just the first half of the film, and confusing as it was, I kept trying to make sense of it. Chris has some type of mark on his stomach which comes and goes, it looks sort of like cow nipples. He keeps checking these marks, unbelieving.

But it gets worse, at some point the woman slowly materializes in his house, disappearing shortly thereafter, but with each successive visit staying longer and longer. She is initially covered in blood and the sexual connection between Chris and his manifested obsession is immediately established. She doesn't speak but instead seems to taunt him while alternately making love with him. His obsession has become real, but it's causing problems in the world's multiple planes of reality.

Now here's where the scifi element gets introduced and the flick becomes really trippy. A professor knows about his situation and lets him in on what's going on, part of it being that extra-terrestrials who police the universe want him to stop disrupting reality, another part being that he has awakened the ability in his friends for them to materialize their obsessions. These parts includes some incredible, and I mean INCREDIBLE effects, and while the film is clearly low budget, this and the superb photography are mixed so well together you wouldn't be able to tell if you weren't paying close attention.

Like I said the first half is really confusing, but the second half pulls the whole film together. Even so, I still want to see it again, both for the effects and great storyline (it is actually based ok a book called White Light) and to try and consume more of what's happening. I asked the director if this was on purpose, and his answer was simply that he was introducing the characters, so obviously it wasn't intentional. Regardless, I think the film has cult potential and the ideas brought from the book will spread out as inspiration in film world. Once finished, the film took a while to digest, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. See it!

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Sunny Joy (14 years ago) Reply

Im pleased with the review. You gave the movie a break and possibly a second chance. There was too much 'unneccasariness;' going on in Mindflesh. It distracted from the beautiful message, 'FACE YOUR TRAUMA!". On second thought, it was an astoundingly true account of the mass confusion that goes on inside the mind when fighting to face the reality of one's seeming traumatic experiences.


quietearth (14 years ago) Reply

Actually I didn't give it a break, I really liked it. It just took a few hours to recognize it. I think out of all the films I saw at the fest, this was hands down the best.


mack (14 years ago) Reply

A balanced conclusion to your review that, as you suggest Mindflesh does, perhaps takes a little too long to make a simple point - this film does indeed ask for a little more than than the usual the level of mental engagement from the audience before paying the audience back in spades with as you rightly describe as "INCREDIBLE effects" and "superb photography". I would agree, cult potential - see it!


Morgoroth (13 years ago) Reply

Interesting that the film seems to be influenced by the graphic work of PD of fame, which is the subject of the recent SlamDance selected documentary
Graphic Sexual Horror (
(the irony)

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