Taking out the A Night of Horror’s “Best Film” award from this years festival, Replace doesn’t match this accolade at face value, at least for the first few minutes, but as the layers are slowly pulled back, an intelligent and beautiful movie emerges within.
The reason for this initial reaction, is through the level of confusion that the viewer is faced with and the style that director Norbert Keil has chosen seems off kilter. The acting seems to be similarly stifled too, but all this is a deliberate device to echo the feeling of despair that our lead character, Kira is confronted with.
As she unravels her situation, Kira has to face up to her situation, revealing some unwelcome truths along the way.
The topic of the movie, deals with an age-old dilemma, that seems to be more concentrated over the recent years with women in particular. Especially with the developments in social media and this continuous fascination with beauty and youth that faces our society.
Imagine then the gravity of the situation when you discover that your skin ages rapidly and begins to wither away. The impact that this has is immense and one that Kira lands head on, but when she further discovers that she can replace her skin with another’s with immediate effect, her journey then transcends into a murderous rampage, fuelled by the need to stay youthful.
If this isn’t a measure of our times, I’m not sure what is.
The cinematography on display is both stylised and stunning and Tim Kuhn deserves some of the accolades thrown his way for luring the viewer in through a hypnotic gaze in places.
The score is equally as mesmerising with its rhythmic pulse driving through the films narration.
Further praise should also be bestowed upon Rebecca Forsythe who manages to display Kira’s vulnerability, innocence, rage, and desperation, with delicate transition and believability that belies her age.
This latest entry into the body horror genre is filled with intelligence and beauty. A lethal combination that hits the mark through Norbert Keil’s stunning vision.
- Saul Muerte