Well, well, well. I have returned from my long-standing self imposed sentence, dancing in and out of consciousness staring at strings of code and cursing the day that X-Pages became a thing.
For those who are unfamiliar with me, I started this website in February of 2013 and watched it grow in to a community oriented family. A while ago I stepped away due to technological burnout and watched as Renfeild Rasputin, Dusty Evely and Lisa Fremont took the reigns and grew this website in ways that I had only dreamed possible. Lisa writes for Horror-Honeys now and from the bottom of my heart, I wish her nothing but the best. She’s a rare soul.
Now that my pretentious re-introduction is out of the way, I’d like to talk about Thanatomorphose and Contracted. Two body-horror films released within a year of each other that on the surface are incredibly similar but differ in execution(obviously) and grotesqueness. I’ll start with Thanatomorphose.
This is a Canadian film so…it already has that going for it. It’s weird, very very weird. We’re introduced to the main character engaging in rough consensual sexual congress with her ass-blanket boyfriend. The cinematography for the sex scene makes it feel more like an art-house project than a horror film, but if you can get past that you’re in for…I don’t really know what you’re in for actually, like I said. This movie is fucking strange.
Our main character is dissatisfied with her life and seems to only enjoy her flowers, they are vibrant and beautiful and everything around them is falling apart (SYMBOLISM FOLKS).
Through the course of the movie her body starts to decay and she abandons the one thing that seemed to give her any joy; the flowers.
The acting was decent and it features a song from The Black Angels which is always a plus in my books. Despite my hatred for how overly artsy the film was, I did enjoy the tension it built up as the main character starts to (quite literally) fall apart.
It’s tense, it’s strange and it’s gross. I’ve never really been a body-horror person but I didn’t mind this one. I did end up watching it in one sitting which is more than I can say for most horror films these days. It’s an interesting concept but the overall execution could use a little work.
Give it a watch when it’s on Netflix or something, but don’t go out of your way to see it.
Next on the docket is Contracted. This was even stranger. The movie starts with some delta having sex with a corpse which I guess is an interesting way to open up a movie. We’re then introduced to our lead who begrudgingly goes to a party with her friend. This is where some of the controversy surrounding this film starts. I was having a conversation with @_StephMM on twitter and apparently people feel that this movie is misogynistic and glorifies “slut-shaming” by punishing the main character for having sex with a stranger from a bar.
My personal interpretation of this scene is that she was drugged and taken advantage of. She even asks the guy to stop a few times. I didn’t think she was a slut by any means and I didn’t think that she was being “punished” for her promiscuous nature. I found that much like in Thanatomorphose, the punishment coming from within. In Thanatomorphose she was decaying and falling apart because she was unsatisfied with her life, in Contracted I felt she was punishing herself for getting raped.
That being said, this movie is incredibly grotesque and intensely disturbing. It’s even weirder than Thanatomorphose and it doesn’t stop and drag on with unnecessary artistic shots. If you asked me to pick which one I’d recommend you watch I’d scoff at you and tell you to watch both? No, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t answer because I’m still not sure which one I think is better. See both, but make sure not to watch them back-to-back.
As a bonus, I found that Contracted was very similar to the film 32 by Nightwalker Cinema. Do yourself a favor and check that out as well, they’re a great bunch of people and they make great short horror films.