Eyes of Samir (Short, 2007)
Directed by Kevin Shulman
Recently I was given the chance to watch a new film by up-and-coming director Kevin Shulman. I was impressed by I.O.U., the first film I saw from him (review here), and was extremely excited to check out more of his work. Adding to my eagerness to see the film was the fact that it promised to be brutal. You see, Eyes of Samir was inspired by execution videos that have been released by terrorist groups. This fact alone had me both intrigued and not just a little bit unnerved. Terrorism is a very touchy subject anyway, but when you throw it into a horror film, you could be asking for trouble.
The opening sequence of Eyes of Samir is a chaotic dance with terror. Quirky camera movements and blurred focus are used effectively to feed the frenzied feel of the film. As Eyes of Samir progresses, it escalates into the pure essence of insanity. There is a genuine sense of fear as you watch the cruelty unfold on screen. Anticipation of the worst case scenario ties your guts in knots.
Basically, audience members finds themselves locked in a room with a hostage and her captor. After being forced to make a wrenching call to her family, she is informed that she will be beheaded for the sake of publicity. Her tormenter is calm and cold as he delivers his treacherous tidings to the horrified woman, but you soon find out that he too is plagued by his own personal demons.
As the woman hears her vanquishers approaching, she readies herself for her inevitable fate in a manner that hints at the lunacy to come. Tension mounts as the execution nears its fruition, blood is soon spilled, and a new demon must be faced. I couldn't even begin to be able to do the end of this film justice with an explanation, and you probably wouldn't believe me anyway!
Admittedly, I wasn't prepared for what transpired in Eyes of Samir, and I think it may have detracted from my original opinion of the film. Upon a second viewing I didn't focus as much on the crazy shit I was seeing and actually got to take in the film itself. I found myself enjoying it quite a bit more. Maybe I'm nuts, but I can't help but like Shulman's style of filmmaking. His skill as a director is apparent throughout his work.
A lot gets packed into the all too brief 20 minutes of Eyes of Samir's running time. The subject content may be too offensive for some to handle, but for those who can look past the terroristic events that have taken place in recent years and simply enjoy the treat of a good "what the fuck" movie, Eyes of Samir could very well prove to be a tasty little snack.
3 out of 5
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