Monday, July 16, 2018

Little Deaths – review

Director: Sean Hogan (segment)

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

Little Deaths is an anthology film and by the title (i.e. la petite mort) you can tell that the segments are about sex and death, and there is some wonderful twisted, disturbing stuff in this. The first segment is the one we’re interested in and so I’ll quickly mention that the second segment, mutant tool, is probably my favourite of the three and is a very twisted modern-day story involving a mutant, Nazi experiments and drugs made from its emissions. The last segment Bitch was disturbing, more than anything, as there wasn’t a sympathetic protagonist just the descent into absolute depravity in an incredibly abusive and dysfunctional relationship.

As for House and Home, the first film. Well, I’m not entirely sure there are vampires in it… but there is something and I’ll discuss it at the culmination but, please beware that this means I will entirely spoil the segment.

everyone has appetites
We start with middle class couple Richard (Luke de Lacey) and Victoria (Siubhan Harrison) in bed, he seems to be deep in thought as she reads. He tries it on but is rebuffed and when he subsequently gropes her she bites his hand. He complains but then mentions he saw her, a homeless girl called Sorrow (Holly Lucas) it transpires, again, in the park. Victoria tells him he should be careful and she admits that everyone has appetites, though everyone has different actual tastes.

sorrow and boyfriend
We next see Sorrow and her (unnamed) boyfriend (James Oliver Wheatley) in the park. They are dirty, cold and hungry but clearly in love. She notices that *he* is back – referring to Richard a distance away, in his car and smoking a cigarette. They wonder if he is police or pervert? He drives off. At home he discusses them with Victoria and it is clear that he has followed their movements and worked out that they split up to beg. They agree to do *it* the next day.

Richard approaches Sorrow in the street and puts a high value bank note in her cup. She says she can’t give change but he doesn’t want change, so she says that she isn’t on the game and he replies that he would hope not. He asks whether she knows God and mentions that he and his wife like to give if they can; money, a hot meal, a bath… at the mention of his wife she relaxes a little and goes off with him. Getting to the house she meets Victoria, is shown the bathroom, allowed to have a bath and given a glass of wine.

She comes down for dinner but the other two are not drinking – they only keep drink in for guests they say. Sorrow becomes overcome and their conversation moves from the faux-piousness to quite nasty filth as Sorrow passes out, her head in the food. Victoria tells Richard to get rid of the drugged wine and open a clean bottle. This is the game they like to play, pick up a homeless girl on the pretence of Christian charity, drug them, abuse them and send them away with hush money. When Sorrow awakens she is naked, strapped to a bed with a bit in her mouth.

She is raped and peed on by Richard, who goes to shower as Victoria takes over and then we get the twist (which I’ll have to spoil to justify the review). He hears Victoria scream, getting into the basement he sees her with Sorrow crouched above her lapping at the blood from her neck with a maw of sharp, monstrous teeth. Richard runs for his car but is surrounded by homeless people (including Sorrow’s boyfriend) who have all sprouted said teeth. We then see them ripping at Victoria’s guts, feeding on her, as the still living Richard is pinned to the wall with scissors.

So what are they? Well the teeth appear when necessary and Sorrow laps blood, but they clearly also eat flesh. They intend to keep Richard alive for as long as possible for food and so they are not classic ghouls (corpse eaters) and they seem, to all intents and purposes, vampiric with regards their eating habit and hiding in plain sight (enough for me to go for a review). Part of me did actually think lycanthropy, but they don’t actually transform (bar the teeth), though they make cat like noises. Perhaps the lycanthropy feeling was a class thing as werewolves (which these are not) are often portrayed as working/lower class whilst vampires often enjoy middle/upper class status. Clearly there was a class abuse going on – bored middle classes preying on an underclass of poor.

a living buffet
I did enjoy the segment, however, and thought it a nicely twisted piece. Her going with Richard seemed too easy but then, unbeknown to the audience at that point, she had a definitive ace up her sleeve. There was room to expand on the film, but that would have just been an expansion of the abuse/torture. 7 out of 10 for the segment.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

DVD @ Amazon UK

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