Dir. Eric Faladeau
Starring – Kayden Rose, David Tousignant, Emile Beaudry.
Monster Pictures UK – 93 Minutes.
Released in the UK on November 25th 2013
Thanatomorphose is the French word meaning the visible signs of an organism’s natural decomposition caused by death! So sounds like the type of happy family film for a lazy Sunday morning then.
Every now and then a film comes along that I know I may not enjoy but due to the content and online buzz I feel I must watch it and this is the case for Thanatomorphose.
Kayden Rose plays a (nameless) young failing sculptress who lives alone in a flat, she has occasional visits from her arse of a boyfriend who only seems to come round for sex then leaves as quickly as he arrives.
One morning she notices a bruise on her upper arm and then one appears on her chin. Next she finds that two of her fingernails come off whilst she is showering. And so begins her slow physical decline, she is trapped inside her own body as she watches and feels it slowly rot and decompose before her (increasingly milky) eyes.
This is a hugely challenging film , dealing with not only the very obvious physical decline but also the mental implosion that she is having. The physical manifestation seemingly starts as she has given up on her work and when she comes to the realisation that her relationship is loveless and coming to an end.
The whole film is set in a flat , the confines of which are a times unbearably claustrophobic, there is very little dialogue and very little interaction from other people. And the whole thing is held together by a superb performance from Kayden Rose. She is naked throughout almost the entire film and has to act and perform some truly challenging scenes.
Thanatomorphose is incredibly hard to watch, as her body rots it is shown in great graphic detail. It is a very slow experience that invites the viewer to make their own minds up on what they are seeing and to it’s ultimate meaning.
The make-up and effects are first class thanks to the wonderful Remy Couture and his team. The cinematography is sublime, as are the sound and soundtrack.
A visceral piece of extreme cinema that is part arthouse part body horror. Now albeit a well made film Thanatomorphose just didn’t hold me throughout. As with many recent films it is at least 20 minutes too long and the pseudo sexual symbolism did start to piss me off towards the end.
That said if you want to be pushed in your cinematic viewing, enjoy the feeling of sheer desperation and oppression and want to see the decay of a beautiful woman in great detail then Thanatomorphose is just for you. A film that should be watched but would I watch it again? Probably not, but the performance of Kayden Rose is worth the price of the DVD alone.