There are different types of movie nerds, and as much as we like to say that we like all kinds of movies, most of us tend to fall into one category or another. With some exceptions, the horror geek community -- acolytes of Raimi, Aja, Roth, etc. -- and the self-proclaimed "cinephile" community -- Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wong Kar-Wai, the Dardennes -- tend to keep to themselves. This isn't surprising, since their interests rarely intersect. [In my best trailer guy voice:] Until now.

There's one movie that's been making the rounds since Cannes 2009 that hits the spot for both groups. That movie is Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, about which generally the less said the better. Its surprises are a lot of the fun. Suffice it to say that its dystopian faux-sci-fi aesthetic, supremely creepy atmosphere, and occasional bursts of graphic violence make it a perfect object of horror nerd affection. And its austerity, formal mastery, ambiguity, and open invite to spin out allegorical interpretations are blood in the water for the art film crowd.
Except, as best I can tell, it's largely been the latter who have embraced this movie. Our resident unrepentant horror geek Scott Weinberg raved about it, but a lot of the other usual suspects have been kind of silent. Despite playing at SXSW, it hasn't really gained momentum in the genre community. Maybe people are turned off or intimidated by the art flick sheen, which would be a serious mistake. Yes, the movie's challenging; yes, it has no musical score; yes, it's been endorsed by the likes of the Village Voice and the Chicago Reader. Yes, sometimes it has more in common with Dogme 95 than with Drag Me to Hell. But take it from several of your own: you need to see this.

So consider this post a combination of public service announcement and taunt. If Dogtooth stops by a theater near you -- or when it hits DVD next year -- and you call yourself a horror fan, it is mandatory that you check it out. You sissy.

categories Cinematical