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The Strange Things Boutique




DVD region 2. Redemption.

Breaking NikkiThe first release from the latest incarnation of Redemption is a not very successful 2009 Argentinian production that tries to be a little too clever and ends up as a fairly confused mess.

Devon (Oliver Kolker) is having trouble accepting a break-up with his ex-wife, Susan (Veronica Mari). He kidnaps her and keeps her chained in a locker, where she is fed like an animal by his brother David (Maxime Segue). He then hires a prostitute, Nikki (Maria Ines Alonso), who is made to dress and act like his ex-wife. Drugged and held captive, Nikki is subjected to sleep deprivation, water torture and conditioning in order to strip her of her identity and turn her into Susan.

Breaking NikkiAt least, that’s a straightforward interpretation of events. But the film twists and turns, with non-linear narrative elements (that actually make no real sense) and frequent manipulation of identity that will have you scratching your head in confusion. Such an untraditional approach to the material could potentially be quite intriguing, but director and co-writer Hernan Findling isn’t really up to the challenge – instead of being an intriguing puzzle, the film is often incoherent and annoying. Add to this the fact that much of the film is shot in extreme close-ups – with some terrible hand-held camerawork thrown in to ensure the viewer develops motion sickness – and is badly paced, and you wind up with a movie that is a disappointment. It’s a pity, because the potential for something quite interesting was there – and the film does have some impressively dark moments (Susan’s escape from the locker, her legs rendered useless through inactivity, is genuinely grim, and the bizarre meal with a restrained Nikki also scores highly on the twisted scale).

While it’s good that Redemption are supporting new indie horror, this isn’t the film to be relaunching with, and is hardly on the level of the Rollin, Franco and other retro Euro shockers that the label is famed for..

The DVD comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette and trailers, though unfortunately the review discs don’t include these extras so I can’t pass comment.






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