“The Butcher”

“The Butcher” is a 2007 South Korean Horror film Directed by Kim Jin-Won. The film is shot in a Cin`ema V`erit`e style depicting a point of view perspective for both the victims and killers. The hand held and lower resolution head mounted cameras bring you up close and personal for a snuff film in the making, that is “The Butcher”.

Cin`ema V`erit`e, I get it, supposed to promote a naturalistic appearance of sheer terror, but for the first 15 min, I had nothing-nothing but heavy screaming, sniffling and moaning. I had to actually turn the volume down so my neighbors didn’t think ” what the hell is he watching in there”. The problem was even if the neighbors thought” what is he watching”? I was getting nothing ,I couldn’t see anything,  all of this torture was not seen on camera.

The film begins with two characters appearing to be delivering more victims to an abandoned slaughterhouse for their eminent (off camera viewing) death. “The Director” and “The Assistant” arrive in the gloomy chamber to see the latest lineup of soon to be eradicated. The subjects appear to be stripped down to their undergarments and bound. The editing debacle that is excessive film cutting from the “The Director’s”perspective to the “soon to be dead, but you won’t be able to see anything peeps side of things”. Shots of darkness,  walls,  doors and more dark areas in the room, to a conversation with the “Director” accepting a phone call from his mother, asking if he will be attending Church.

A few at a time people are taken back into another area, where more screams are heard and a chainsaw screeching at full throttle, held by a pig mask wearing, man raping psycho, f-ing people up.. At this point the only butchering going on is on my patience, desperately anticipating for any kind of clarity. 32 min into “The Butcher” and finally a hint of a not so shaky camera scene, bringing my attention into full focus.

A man who moments earlier tried to escape, is brought back into the torture chamber with his wife and sat in chairs opposite each other. The floors are covered with plastic and blood is everywhere. Cue more of the whimpering and crying, but wait? An actual story begins to unfold( a pretty good one too). With a mere flip of the coin, a choice will have to be made for their survival!

“The Butcher” teetering on decency, takes such a long time before any real substance or development is ascertained makes it a dissapointment of a film and loss of a good 32 min in the first act and at least 10 more in the last one.  On a $15,000 budget much cannot be expected, yet another 2007 blockbuster on the exact budget made $100 million (Paranormal Activity). Kim Jin-Won seems to drag this one on in all the wrong places. Loaded with meaningless filler to set the mood and tone are a waste. “The Butcher was great expectations, a great idea, only to deliver letdown. If anyone can hang on past the 30 min mark, “The Butcher” becomes something else…a little better movie. The FX when they finally came were great.

I beg to differ with those who categorize this film as “Torture Porn” This film should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the sub-genre. “Torture Porn” in my opinion is good…this film was close, but wasn’t. “The Butcher” was that 80yd pass right in the hands of rookie Director Kim Jin-Won only to be dropped in the end zone with time expired.

BruceVain
http://blog.brucevain.com/