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Published by David Carter on 2015/12/20 (503 reads)
Directed by Phil Stevens
Review by David Carter
Released by Unearthed Films/MVD Visual
Running Time: 79 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Two commentary tracks, actor interview, audition footage, behind the scenes, isolated effects track
Trailer Online: Yes
Phil Stevens’ FLOWERS was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, a method that everyone from newcomers to established Hollywood stars have used to get their projects off the ground. While this set up may appear to only benefit the filmmakers, there are also significant benefits to the fans that choose to support them. There are various freebies and special gifts depending on the level of donation, but more importantly, the fan is making sure that the types of films they want to see actually get made. FilmFanaddict caters to film lovers with discerning tastes that are often the kinds of thing that make studio execs run in fright. FLOWERS is certainly that kind of film; a brutally challenging work that is more experiential that narrative. It is now available in several versions from Unearthed Films, the single-disc DVD version of which will be reviewed here.
On the aforementioned Kickstarter page, Stevens’ refers to FLOWERS as a “return to the dark art-house underground.” That is an apt statement, since most viewers will be immediately reminded of classics like BEGOTTEN and NEKROMANTIK. Stylistically, FLOWERS has much more in common with the former as it is an almost dialogue-free film which utilizes jarring images to convey its message. That message is what links it more to the art-horror of NEKROMANTIK, as it is primarily concerned with gore, viscera, and body transformation.
What FLOWERS is actually about narratively is secondary to the power of the images Stevens presents. The basic outline is quite simple: six murdered women find themselves trapped in a nightmarish version of their killer’s home. More specifics about this scenario are left up to the viewers’ interpretation. Are they in hell? Is this their dying fantasies? Is this the killer’s fantasy? These ideas aren’t directly addressed by Stevens in a move that adds to the terror generated by the work. FLOWERS isn’t filled with jump scares or scary monsters, but instead assaults the viewer with increasingly graphic and disturbing images. Leaving these images up to the viewers’ interpretation guarantees that what they will choose will most likely be the most terrifying scenario possible.
Unearthed’s single-disc release still comes packed with extra features, including a commentary track by Stevens. Also included is audition footage of one of the actresses, and all of the film’s featured players do an outstanding job. FLOWERS is the type of film that will leave a deep impression on you. Those of you looking for a more challenging experience – one much more graphic than many “extreme” horror films out there – will definitely want to pick this one up.
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