Before I talk about Creature 2013 specifically I want to go on the record as saying that I love Indie cinema. And I have made it known that my sweet spot in the indie community is the experimental/avant garde subgenre- the arthouse films that step outside of what we normally consider to define what a horror film is. Sometimes it works brilliantly and other times it is a complete fail. I myself have watched numerous directors whose vision was devouring by the high conceptual aspect, losing the story until it was gone. I have also seen films that married the horror story and the experimental styles beautifully, which often make me feel somehow elevated inside in an almost metaphysical way. The experimental love affair I have developed comes from many years of watching silent movies, crime/noir of the 40’s/50’s and the 60’s avant-garde cinema. Films most people will walk away from within the first 10 minutes. Anyway, now to Creature 2013. This film is total experimental arthouse and will not appeal to the average film fan. Now on to my review.
Creature 2013 is directed by Ronny Carlsson and stars Daniela Melin in the lead role of a young woman desperate to seek answers to her past. Travelling back to a place she recalls as secure, the memories come out of the darkness with the sole purpose of yet again destroying her life. Creature 2013 is a 45 minute short film that is 100% experimental filmmaking. The story plays out in obscure imagery shot in video art style (VHS filmmaking), black & white shadowy scenes which together create an almost cinema verite feel blended with a complete noir atmosphere. I immediately though of the term verite-noir. The experimental use of almost rough shot, shaky camera work, the play of shadow against light, and the sheer lack of any real dialogue offers up an almost macabre, haunting display of emotional unease that permeates the film and the lead character’s presence. I was captivated. I do have to add that I stayed completely confused as to what was actually going on in the film based on the synopsis-almost right up until the final 3rd section of the film when the directors revealing conclusion came to light. I would have liked for the story to be pulled out of the strong conceptual design a bit more but it didn’t keep me from staying locked into Natalya’s plight.
The visual elements are so avante-garde and mesmerizing that I could see this playing against a gallery’s stark white wall as pure artistic brilliance, or some smokey back alley expressionist gathering at a coffee house. Like I said, I love experimental filmmaking and extremist cinematic concepts. There is almost no dialogue, I think I counted 6 moments, maybe 7, where speaking was involved. The haunting, foreboding atmosphere and the high visual exploration movements of the character tell the story in this film. There is a deep philosophical element at work in Creature 2013 and the gritty, dressed down underlying horror aspects are powerful arthouse moments. Plain and simple Creature 2013 is an art film that works the new age “video art” style wonderfully. I personally enjoyed the film but I know that the vast majority of people will not like this film. It is an exploration in emotion, sensory stimulation and expectational provocation.