ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Banned in a 46 countries, too hardcore for cinemas and subject to punishing cuts, A Serbian Film is one of those deeply disturbing horror movies that shocks the viewer to the core.

Despite — or perhaps because of — its challenging subject matter, I adored A Serbian Film. Whether you accept the film's political allegory or just see it as a non-stop ride of gore and depravity, it makes you feel something, and that's what good cinema should do, even if that feeling is revulsion.


How do you feel about 'A Serbian Film'?

If you'd rather avoid watching the movie yourself, check out this spoilerific full breakdown of A Serbian Film, or just take a peek at the trailer.

Still, if there's anything almost as entertaining as a well-delivered shocker itself, it's reading the colorful reviews. Check out some gloriously hyperbolic reviews of A Serbian Film from people who really, really hated it.

1. ''Disgusting''

Disgusting in its celebration of sexual torture.

- Christopher Tookey, The Daily Mail

2. ''You'd Be Better Off Self-Abusing''

The movie says as much about Eastern Europe as Twilight does about the Pacific Northwest. Frankly, you'd be better off self-abusing.

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

3. ''A Void of Pain, Blood & Death''

It made me feel so unclean that I wanted to scrub off my own skin... It sucks away all joy, hope and satisfaction out of the world, leaving a nihilistic void of pain, blood and death from which nothing positive will ever come... do not watch "A Serbian Film" unless you are trying to psych yourself up enough to shoot yourself in the head.

- E.A. Solinas

4. ''Sordid''

A sordid welter of sexual sadism, incestuous necrophilia and ‘snuff movie’ nihilism

- Nigel Floyd, Time Out

5. ''Porn-Horror Nightmare''

Serbian director Srdjan Spasojevic has created a migraine-inducing 'controversy' with this badly acted and directed porn-horror nightmare

- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

6. ''Don't''

The one thing you don't want to do is watch this.

- Sky

7. ''Revolting''

A Serbian Film is a violent, revolting shocker about people making a sadomasochistic porn movie. You look at it as you would ogle a car crash.

- Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

8. ''Sick''

This film is sick on so many levels, it's absolutely beyond my comprehension... I could never imagine that anyone with good mental health would ever direct, produce and star in such a film. The amount of sodomy, violence and deviance is unbelievable.

- Nikola

9. ''I Hate It''

DISTURBING AND DISGUSTING. This will be enjoyable only for sick minds. I hate it ... I'll never watch this again.... GOD.

- Sergio Andres P

10. ''Twisted''

I have seen everything under the sun when it comes to sick and twisted cinema and this tops it all.

- Schmobbie

... And a few reviewers who found merit in the movie. I must say, this is more how I feel about A Serbian Film and have happily watched it a second time.


Revels in its sheer inventive awfulness and dares the viewer to find a more serious layer of meaning... Mr. Spasojevic seems to be settling into a De Palmaesque realm of queasy, kinky, suspenseful comedy, teasing the boundary between titillation and revulsion.

- A.O. Scott, NYT


A passionate argument against a no-holds-barred exploration of extreme human sexuality and violence.

- Karina Longworth, The Village Voice


The juxtaposition of children with such exploitative imagery is itself deeply unsettling. There is a feeling of nihilistic self-loathing that runs through the film.

- Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent

If you're interested in a review that objects to A Serbian Film more intelligently than the general 'that's gross, that is' response, Serbian critic Dragan Bjelogrlić eloquently explains why he loathes the movie:

"Shallow and plain wrong — sum up my feelings about this movie. I have a problem with A Serbian Film. Its director in particular. I've got a serious problem with the boy whose father got wealthy during the 1990s — nothing against making money, but I know how money was made in Serbia during the 1990s — and then pays for his son's education abroad and eventually the kid comes back to Serbia to film his view of the country using his dad's money and even calls the whole thing A Serbian Film. To me that's a metaphor for something unacceptable.''

Post your own heartfelt review of A Serbian Film below!

Source: The Guardian, NYT, Time Out, Financial Times, The Daily Mail, Rotten Tomatoes, B92, Sky, IMDb, Amazon, Village Voice, The Independent. All images: Contra Film


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