February 15, 2015

Movie Review: Cut! (2014)

Snuff films, legend or reality? I don't know, I only hope they remain in the realm of legend. I would never want to know, definitively, that things like that actually exist. Now, on the other hand, films that simulate them or pretend to be making them are a different thing altogether. Things like 8mm (you remember that Nicolas Cage movie, right?) and Mute Witness (underrated thriller that it is) are examples of this. Now we have Cut!, a movie that devolves into snuff film making and brings together a couple of recent trends in horror, torture porn (hate that term, but you know what I am talking about) and found footage. The end result is interesting, although it takes a little while to get going.

Travis Simon (director/co-writer David Rountree) helps ex-con pal Lane Hayes (David Banks) get a job at a movie prop company and before long Lane is enlisted to help Travis with the shooting of a film he is making. The idea behind his movie is that there needs to be real and legitimate fear in the victims, so he is taking a reality approach and scaring people half to death who have no idea they are in a movie, therefore guaranteeing a genuine response. Lane is on board, but thinks it needs to go a step further. They actually begin killing people for real. Of course, they toss in a little torture first before going in for the kill, recorded by a handheld camera.

This really isn't a bad idea, nor is it all there is to the movie. They toss in some M. Night Shyamalan style twists to keep the knives in motion, if you will. It does its best to keep the viewer on the edge of your seat, and while it has moments, it is not entirely successful. It is a movie that requires you to stay in the moment no matter what. The reason being, if you step back and look at the bigger picture, it begins to crumble under the strain of logic. Think about the idea of actually making a snuff film, in which you are directly involved in the events, with witnesses, and trying to set up distribution. It is like putting your confession out there. Of course, that could point towards a deep mental illness on the part of those involved, but I am not so sure that was the intention.

Cut! takes a little time to really pick up steam, and, frankly, I was a little bored through the set up. One it gets into the snuff aspect and just how crazy some of these folks really are, the interest begins and you can truly live in the moment. It gets pretty messed as the knife begins to twist and further motives and plans are revealed.

I cannot say that I loved this or that it was really good. It does have interesting ideas, but I felt it lacked somewhat in focus and execution. Still, it was interesting to see the torture blended with found footage aspects, as well as the twists. So, I would say this is worth checking out, but it is not necessarily a must see.

Mildly Recommended.

Cut! is currently in a limited theatrical run and will make it's VOD debut on 2/24/15

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David Rountree said...

Hi Christopher,
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to watch and review CUT! We appreciate your sincerity and opinion.
David Rountree
CUT! Director

Christopher Beaumont said...

Hi David!
Thank you for reading. I look forward to your next film!


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