Serbian Film, A (Blu-ray)

Cover art:


A Serbian Film Blu-rayStarring Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Slobodan Bestic

Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic

Distributed by Invincible Pictures

The shock of A Serbian Film has been well documented, not only here on Dread Central (with a debate/discussion that raged across two episodes of our Dinner for Fiends podcast), but on virtually every movie website in existence. This wildly divisive cinematic experience boasts some of the most infamous “shock sequences” of the last two decades beneath the guise of thinly veiled social commentary. Yes, it’s a heavy experience, and one you’re not likely to forget anytime soon, although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth your time.

Nearly everyone who watches A Serbian Film has at least one similar reaction: It’s far better made than expected. Performances are largely good, special effects are certainly convincing and the story manages enough intrigue (at least, initially) to keep anyone engaged. For the first hour or so, director Srđan Spasojević stages a competent mystery/thriller that exudes creepiness as our main character, Milos, a legendary male porn star, navigates the insidious landscape of the underground Serbian film industry as a way of providing for his family. Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan, and Milos quickly finds himself trapped in an utterly graphic and grotesque experience that plays out like an extreme version of David Fincher’s The Game.

Of course, everything that happens throughout is done as a way of illustrating the oppression of Serbia’s people at the hands of their government. Similar to Pasolini’s Salo, it’s a political statement dressed up in disgusting exploitation. It’s not enough to justify slogging through 102 minutes, however, and the film runs out of steam well before the end. Just as the debauchery is ramping up, the narrative deflates in a glut of monotony. If there’s any reason to keep going, it’s out of sheer curiosity to see where it will go next, but by the time the telegraphed conclusion rolls around, it’s hard to muster anything other than an eye roll.

A Serbian Film isn’t great art, and entertainment mileage can and will vary. Adventurous genre fans will probably want to walk the same freaky corridors that Milos does – if only to make up their own minds about this controversial shit show. But it’s hardly the kind of thing worth revisiting. Overlong, underwritten and quickly redundant – proceed at your own risk.

Invincible Pictures brings this edited version of A Serbian Film to Blu-ray in a stunning high definition transfer. Finely detailed, with superb textures found in faces and hairs, it’s an excellent presentation. Shadows are deep and inky black, and there’s absolutely no noise to speak of. Invincible Pictures might’ve had no choice but to release an edited version, but this looks great.

Speaking of cuts, it’s to be noted that the infamous baby rape has been almost entirely been stricken from the film, leaving behind something of an eerie implication in its wake. And the other nasty surprise comes late in the film – obscuring the identity of an unfortunate victim. It does make the movie a bit easier to take, but it’s important to note this isn’t the director’s original version.

You probably already know whether or not you’ve got any interest in A Serbian Film. While this release has no extras (save for a link to download a digital copy – not present in my screener), fans will love the excellent A/V quality. Definitely not recommended to those easily unsettled, though.


2 1/2 out of 5

Special Features

1/2 out of 5

Discuss A Serbian Film in our comment section below!

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  • Mr. Dark

    Add another signature on the line of the hate mail for sanitized releases. In this case, removing the baby thing: fine. It was actually kind of goofy the way it came out, anyway. So over the top that it isn’t shocking, it’s just kind of ridiculous.

    But that end bit…like others have said here, you cut that you’re cutting probably the single biggest social statement of the film. I’m shocked they even got away with simulating that content, but they did, it’s out there, and that’s probably the biggest thing the movie has to say: first the government does it to you, and then…

  • kiddcapone

    A Serbian Film: My official take – Meh.

    I downloaded the uncut version a long time ago. Wasn’t impressed. Was actually kind of bored. Wasn’t offended. Saw the ending coming from a mile away. It ended. I ate a Hot Pocket afterwards.

    Look, the movie went for a few shock moments to overcome for it’s lack of substance. It worked. People still talk about it and it’s not a good movie. I haven’t been to Serbia. I have no plans of ever going to Serbia. I don’t give a shit about Serbia. If this is a social commentary by the director about the country, then fucking move. Pick another country that doesn’t fuck you over practically after birth (if you can find one). I don’t believe in censorship so if you can’t release the original vision, don’t release it at all. Regardless, it’s barely worth a one time viewing.

    Maybe the sequel will be better: A Penn State film.

    • nonserviam03

      LOL “A Penn State film”

  • Vanvance1

    I won’t buy an edited, censored version. This needs a proper release with the director’s cut.

  • James Coker

    as long as they don’t Fuck a real Turtle ill be okay…

  • elric300

    Cannot support this…

    it’s not that I need or maybe truly want to see the offending footage, but it IS part of the director’s intent. I will not support censorship in anyway whatsoever.


  • nonserviam03

    wait wait wait… so they don’t show the victim’s face at the end? Is it still clear who the person is? Cuz that sounds like it would completely kill the impact of the ending.

Matt Serafini

Author (Under the Blade, Feral), slasher movie enthusiast, N7 Operative. Plays games, watches movies, reads books. Occasionally writes about them.