Hooray! Another ‘found footage’ movie. I love feeling nauseous and not scared all at the same time.
Bodom is a short film out of Hungary about a legendary murder case. Fifty years ago a group of teenagers went camping on Lake Bodom in Finland and only one of them survived. Today, college student, Annikki, wants to write her thesis on the event. She enlists the help of her friend, Pietari, to film the process.
Annikki actually gets the lone survivor from 50 years ago to do an interview but only the audio file is found. He proceeds to explain that over the past 30 years, 27 women have gone missing from the Bodom area and it’s not over yet. He then promptly freaks out and the recording ends.
Next thing we know Annikki and Pietari hop on a rubber-band prop plane then rent the shittiest car ever to get to the village of Espoo and then to Lake Bodom. Throughout the film there are snippet interviews with family and friends and a common theme is that no one really knew Annikki that well except that she liked to be alone and was usually quiet.
In other words, the writers are setting us up for some kind of surprise. Not that the final revlation was at all a shock but I get ahead of myself.
Annikki and Pietari plan to spend two days on the lake in some kind of shack. They interview some locals, getting various theories as to who did all the killing over the past 30 years, including the killer was a hermit who also impregnated the missing women. (This is basically where I threw my hands up and just started cussing out the TV.) And during the first day/night while there, they are tormented by an unseen, or sometimes shadowy, figure.
There are hints at Annikki’s past, some kind of sexual assault as a child and then again in college, and that perhaps there is some kind of connection to this mysterious ‘hermit’ (*eye roll*).
The last things we know for sure are: 1) several more people die by the end; 2) Annikki is taken alive by a ski-masked mystery man; and 3) this movie was 64 minutes I can never get back.
I do like to watch foreign films. It’s interesting to see other countries’ spins on pop culture, local legends and lore, social commentaries on the world they view. But it seems Hungary is a bit behind the times. In my opinion, the day of the found footage film has come and gone. Maybe it will have comeback in a few years but right now they are no longer unique or interesting. It’s like watching your epileptic Uncle Carl film recreation time at the psychiatric hospital for the violently insane.
The story itself is rather lackluster and unoriginal. And the whole plot twist was ridiculous, if not completely predictable. The background info on Annikki seemed tacked on and thrown in to set up the ‘twist’. Perhaps if they made the movie a bit longer, some of the story elements would have had a better chance to develop, as would the characters. Maybe I could even have grown to give a shit about any of them.
The acting isn’t terrible but it didn’t blow me away either, though I have to say the banter between Pietari and Annikki during their drive was very believable. The film looks good and sounds good. I can’t stand having to turn up the volume to hear dialogue only to be deafened by super obnoxiously loud effects.
Those few bits, however, aren’t really enough to make me want to recommend this film.
3 Hatchets (out of 10)