‘A Serbian Film’ leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. The debut film by 'Spasojevic' is growing in notoriety for its controversial scenes, banned in most places (including the USA) and released in the UK with over 4 minutes of cuts by the British Board of Film, the most cuts in 16 years.
The film follows an aging pornstar hired to star in a new 'art film', that descends into the dark, depraved world of underground pornography. I DO NOT recommend that anyone watch this film. But as a reviewer I will give my critique of what I watched; the film is actually pretty well made, there’s some great cinematography, camerawork and editing, and the acting, although dodgy in a few places is mostly solid by the main cast, it sustains threat and builds tension.
BUT, the films plot is constructed to allow shock tactic sequences for the sake of it, anyone looking for a deeper reasoning from the films horrid finale is giving the film more credit than it deserves. 'A Serbian film' is a repugnant piece of vile, hateful film making. The unnerving ending made me feel quite sickened, and I’m an open-minded fan of the weird and disturbing and I believe in freedom of expression. This is a nasty piece of exploitative work. It really is not brutal or sick (for lack of a better word) in an 'entertaining' way.
I've seen way more graphic films; I've seen films with more graphic sex (Baise-Moi) and violence (Inside), and I've seen films with more thought provoking impact (Irreversible). BUT, in the end, it's the tone, delivery and themes that make 'A Serbian Film' just plain nasty. Any deep message or moral hidden within does not give it artistic merit enough to redeem it.
If you still have some sort of morbid fascination about watching this film, remember; what has been seen, cannot be un-seen. Unless you are the most hardcore of horror fans, unless you aren't easily phased, or unless you just want to feel violated, do not watch it.
This is the hardest film I have ever tried to score. Like I've already stated; the actual quality of the production in general is solid, and based on that alone I'd possibly give it around a 7/10. Including the nasty stuff it becomes so repellent to me it drops right down to a 3/10.