Sunday, November 23, 2014

Film Review: Le Fear 2 - Le Sequel

Copyright: Jason Croot
Le Fear 2 - Le Sequel is a film about the troubles of making a film with no budget and some amounts of dispersed talent. In it, Jason Croot, who directed the film and came up with the initial idea, tells the story of Carlos, a man who wants to make a horror film (actually, his 23rd movie of his career). He receives a shady offer that will cover the financial element of his production, but on the first day of shooting, realizes that he actually got a trailer home on a parking lot.

Soon, characters like young Nigerian swindlers and nymphomaniac (and slightly psychotic) make-up artist enter his project, and Carlos decides to soldier on in spite of the fact that he doesn’t have anything and is making something very similar to absolutely nothing.

The main problem of the film is the fact that almost everything is a bit too long. This is seen in gags, character encounters and even individual dialogue lines; jokes and the punch lines are there, but they are blunted by this constant notion of a prolonged introduction. I realize that the director aimed for, let’s call it, a long narrative exposure as the part of the inherent nature of the film, but it just becomes tiresome after a while.

There are signs that he tried to mend this by introducing ever more random elements to the Carlos directorial nightmare, including blow-up alien dolls on toy cars, but they all continue to fall into the feeling of comical fatigue. The film produces a great introduction early on, showing a shady agency where Carlos finds his producers, but quickly gets bogged down into characters standing around and arguing, while even more ludicrous characters stumble into the mix. This is a pattern that is used by Croot till the very end. On the other hand, the horror elements of the film are completely invisible.

The cast of the film does a good job, led by Kyri Saphiris who plays Carlos. But, the amount of sparks that need to fly between the characters for this setup to work needs to be similar to those seen in films like Living in Oblivion. This film also tells a story about a failing production for a small film, but its characters seem so in sync with each other that the entire thing breaths perfectly, even though it is nothing more than play filmed in a theater.

In some interesting fashion, Le Fear 2 - Le Sequel is the film that the fictional crew, led by the tragic Carlos, makes. It basic has a solid idea, but not remotely enough chemistry in its character interactions to justify the complete absence of any production values like a real movie set or a real camera (the entire film is filmed in a parking lot in an improvised mockumentary style). This was a bold move by Jason Croot, but in the end it managed to transform a smartly written script into a very flat film.