2012 / Director. Éric Falardeau.
Every so often films come along that challenge our limits. Recent years have seen films like A SERBIAN FILM and HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 push audience's thresholds with disturbing, graphic and repulsive imagery. Try wrapping your tongue around THANAMATOMORPHOSE. When the title alone is challenging then you know you've got a a tricky film on your hands. I've had this film sitting on my coffee table for weeks now and I've been waiting until the right mood strikes me. I might be an avid horror fan but I find these sorts of exercises in depravity very taxing. THANATOMORPHOSE is the story of a woman who's body begins to decompose. At first showing signs of bruising, it isn't long before her fingernails start peeling off and her flesh continues to rot. It's when she starts to get sexual gratification from her own decay that the viewer is really tested. Needless to say this is an ugly, repulsive film - but that's not to say that it's a bad one. There is definitely an artistic merit to it. Made on a flimsy budget, the film makes excellent use of it's single apartment location. The cinematography is elegant and an atmospheric violin score gives it an unexpected beauty. The lead performance from Kayden Rose is amongst the most courageous I've seen in years. Sex and death have been explored in art since the conception of art itself but very rarely have the two been intertwined so texturally as this. Watching it recalled memories of seeing NEKROMANTIK for the first time. I have come away from it with the same mixed emotions. I feel exhausted and icky. I like what I have seen as much as I deplore it. These images will stick in my head for years to come, like a phlegm-wad solidifying in my brain. It has me thinking about what Disney film I'm going to watch next. If you gravitate towards these sorts of films then look to Monster Pictures to find it. Very few retailers in Australia (zero major ones) stock it. In fact they've flat-out refused to. And so once again Monster step-up! I can't imagine revisiting THANATOMORPHOSE in a hurry but I expect plenty of discussion about it. Putrid. Disgusting. Nauseating and perverted... yet all the while graceful. Yuck!