Get out while you can.
Directed by Paul Hyett
Reviewed by the Devil Himself – Deep Red
Paul Hyett’s next film is Howl (2015)
This is a harsh one really. Rosie Day plays Angel, a girl who is abducted and brought to a brothel run by Viktor (Kevin Howarth) with other girls where they are used as sex slaves for the military. Angel is a mute and has a birthmark on her face so she ends up being used to do other chores such as putting makeup on the girls, drugging them and cleaning them up after they’ve been abused while existing in the same squalor herself. We see the circumstances of Angel’s abduction in flashback, a massacre lead by Goran (Sean Pertwee), we also see her initial contact with Viktor who gave her the name Angel and taught her to administer drugs to the other girls. Angel befriends a girl called Vanya (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) but then Goran visits the brothel with his soldiers….
It’s not a horror film really, more of a heavy-going wartime drama, at least at first, and the subject matter is harrowing stuff, it’ll almost certainly upset some people. But horror isn’t always about entertainment, sometimes it’s about serious things and this is one of those times, it certainly looks to have been marketed as a horror film though and later events explain that. I like to think of myself as an intelligent human being who just happens to appreciate a particular genre in its many forms, not some raving lunatic, and of course I’m as affected by some aspects of a film like this as much as anybody else would be. However, I didn’t find this a particularly shocking film, the age of the girls being raped and brutalised is an emotive factor but as far as the sexual abuse goes it’s not that graphic thankfully, graphic enough though, the idea of it alone is sickening.
The violence on the other hand is very graphic and very, very well done but the truly nastier stuff is fairly infrequent. The pace of the film does change in the latter stages and the film certainly becomes more entertaining and less gruelling if not altogether believable; now we’re back in familiar territory, revenge horror at its finest. It’s tense stuff and we do care about the fate of Angel, she’s been through a lot! The acting is top-notch, Rosie Day is phenomenal as Angel. It’s not a film you’re likely to forget in a hurry but it is just a film and it’s beautifully made. The conclusion is haunting and will stay with you long after the credits roll. One of the best films I’ve seen this year. Check it out but you have been warned.