“Why be moral if we can be anonymous?”
Ok let’s get this out of the way right at the beginning of this review, Snuff 102 is an extreme gore movie from the underground. Now by extreme I MEAN extreme! If you are the type of horror fan that finds the likes of Hostel & Saw brutal & shocking stay well away from this, you will not make it to the end. Snuff 102 is not for your average horror fan. Now that’s out of the way, if your here reading this review deliberately (You searched the movie out, not just browsing this page) then you probably have an idea what to expect. Snuff 102 is a troubling movie, a paradox & a contradiction. But it does have something to say. If you’re looking for a mindless gorefest & sheer nastiness then ignore this & watch something like The August Underground Trilogy. Snuff 102 is a movie that confronts it’s audience & asks uncomfortable questions.
The plot is incredibly simple. A young woman is researching snuff movies & ends up kidnapped, tied up & placed in a room with two other bound women who are brutally, tortured, beaten, mutilated & killed by a sadistic balaclava wearing killer who is filming the attacks on the women. There is a so-called twist at the end, but this even more blatantly obvious than Bruce Willis being dead in The Sixth Sense!
While the plot of Snuff 102 is simple enough, the movie examines the fascination with the dark side of life & morbid curiosity that is present in each & every one of us. Simply put, Snuff 102 wants to question it’s own audience. What is the fascination we all have with the darker side of life? Why, when confronted with the shocking, disturbing & unsettling do we feel the subconscious desire to look. And how the advent of the internet has allowed us the access to these kind of images from the safe anonymity of our own homes. Snuff 102 is a slow-moving film that uses a fractured narrative to tell it’s story. Scenes of the researcher investigating Snuff & violent web content are filmed in black & white & are intercut with footage of the 3 women being brutally tortured. These scenes are in colour but filmed with a low spec camera giving the snuff scenes a stark & grainy feel. As the movie opens director Mariano Peralta assaults the audience with some real scenes of animal death including a repulsive scene of a large pig having it’s throat slit & the kind of pictures of real death & injury that could be found on sites like Ogrish. There is a theory, put forward by psychologists that, if in a movie like this you show real animal slaughter, you are subconsciously programing the viewer’s mind. If they accept what they are watching at the beginning (the animal deaths) is real, then the audience’s mind is more willing to accept what follows (the fake human torture & death) as real. This idea was used to powerful effect by Ruggero Deodato in his infamous Cannibal Holocaust.
For anyone thinking about seeing this movie the question just how brutal & graphic is it? will probably be a serious point of interest. The movie is explicitly & horrifyingly nasty, yet not as much as the hype or your first viewing would have you believe. The infamous scene with the pregnant woman is a case in point. yes the scene is extremely graphic & repugnant, but clever editing & camera angles mean the implication of what is happening is more than what is shown. When the killer stomps on the pregnant woman’s stomach you see his boot on her stomach & him stamping down. What you don’t see is any impact, only the implication (which in itself is repulsive) Same with the knife rape. The knife is shown between the woman’s legs (filmed from the side) but nothing truly explicit is shown (again its the sound effects & implication that shock) Make no mistake, despite these tricks there are some truly nasty graphic scenes in this movie, certainly enough to keep even the most rabid gorehound happy & send the average horror movie fan running from the screen, attempting to hold their lunch down!
Snuff 102 isn’t a movie I can recommend to everyone. It’s a niche movie with limited appeal & target audience. But if you “enjoy” the likes of August Underground you will find a movie with equally shocking & brutal moments but a hell of a lot more substance. Approach with extreme caution.