In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Only Skin Deep.

Fantasia continued with a screening of Norbert Keil's body horror piece, Replace.

When Kira's (Rebecca Forsythe) skin starts to inexplicably decay and flake off, she discovers she can replenish it with that of other women.

I wasn't crazy about this movie, but I'll start with the positive. I was really impressed with the look of this movie and how it visually represented Toronto. Kira's apartment had this really strange layout that could only exist in a movie and I kind of dug that. Odd at first was the relationship between Kira & her neighbour Sophia (Lucie Aron), actually reminding me of those awkward dubbed conversations you see in old gialli, but even that kind of grew on me after a while. It could also be that Aron reminded me of Asia Argento.

The Big Smoke.

I think scene to scene, Replace just felt uneven to me. I was slightly confused in that it seemed to exist out of time. Kira rocked an ancient flip phone, yet Sophia busted out a futuristic projection screen. As soon as the movie started escalating, it didn't really flow together as well as it should have. A few revelations toward the end helped to alleviate some of my grievances, but not all. I would wager that the more surrealist qualities of the movie were perhaps the contribution of co-writer Richard Stanley, but I was lukewarm on how that mixed with the science here.

Due to these distractions, I didn't feel nearly as connected to the characters as I was supposed to. That's a problem because body horror is all about its visceral nature and response. The special effects were solid, but even with those I often experienced a strange disconnect. Barbara Crampton showed up and gave the project some gravitas, but not enough to anchor the movie down once it started meandering in the middle.

Rebecca Forsythe (left) & Barbara Crampton in Replace

Visually I thought Replace was a success, but I just wish the other elements came together as well.

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