Every now and then, a horror film hits a status that transcends the genre and becomes the stuff of pop culture legend. Around the same time that ‘The Human Centipede ‘ was the reaction-worthy film that everyone made their friends watch, a nastier, meaner film threw its hands in the air and attacked. ‘Sprski Film’ AKA ‘A Serbian Film’ was released into the wild like a hurricane. It destroyed everyone in its path and quickly became known as the most intense, disgusting film of all time.
But whats it all about? And does it deserve this level of hype? Allow me to take your hand and guide you the best I can…
The movie is about a retired adult video star named Milos, who we are first introduced to as he walks into his living room to find his 6 or 7 year old son watching one of his old films – a rather heavy one involving some violent beatings. He and his loving wife have to talk to the boy to explain what he’s seeing, and what he’s currently feeling. From there, once we’ve met the family well enough, we quickly learn that they are almost entirely out of money, and the country’s economy doesn’t provide much assistance to anyone.
Milos receives a phone call from an old colleague who makes him an offer we know he can’t refuse. She says there’s a hip, transgressive artist who specifically wants to hire him because he’s a massive fan. If he agrees, he’ll earn enough money to the degree that even his son will die never having to work for it. The catch – he is not allowed to read the script or be briefed on what his daily duties will include. After careful deliberation with his wife and a strong recommendation from his colleague, he accepts.
What follows is a consistently progressive series of explicit sexuality, brutal violence, and a few different scenes that push the film into extremely upsetting territory. The most infamous scene involves something happening to a newborn that I’d rather not type out.
Now, the entire movie is explicitly an art piece. The story of a country that uses and abuses its citizens, the director abusing his actors, family troubles, and the level of intensity that some people will resort to for money is clear. But the movie contains literal pornography and bloody mayhem that combine to make a serious problem for the viewers Subconscious. There’s things you will witness you’ll wish that you hadn’t. Additionally, the whole thing is shot beautifully, which I feels add a whole other dimension to the things you see, because typically this kind of depravity only exists in super underground B-Horror films that exist on someone’s home camcorder. The production level, cinematography, and music force this film to look contemporary and make the experience all the more powerful.
Now, here’s the super tricky part – and honestly, why I didn’t write about this for an entire 2 months as I had planned. This film is brilliant. It really is. It’s absolutely disgusting, depraved, shocking, and earns all of its reputation… but I can’t help but admire how powerful it remains to be, how well put together it is, and how it continues to make me feel on repeat viewings.
And that ending… the final 5 or 10 minutes is probably one of the most stomach churning, soul draining experiences of the last decade. Just thinking about it still makes me depressed.
I advise EXTREME caution to anyone curious about this one. It really does contain some overtly graphic and traumatizing content that you will not be able to forget so easily. But… anyone with strong nerves, a somewhat balanced psyche, and an empty stomach can enjoy this film for one reason or another.
“A Serbian Film” is currently available on Vudu.
‘Til Next Time,
P.S. This was a HIGHLY requested title. What other Extremity films are you wanting to read about? I have a few already coming down the pipeline but I’m a glutton for punishment
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