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A Serbian Film (2010)

DVD Cover (Invincible Pictures Reissue)
Genres:
Horror, Sadistic Horror, Sex Horror
Director:
Srdjan Spasojevic Srdjan Spasojevic
Starring:
Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic
Sergej Trifunovic Sergej Trifunovic
Jelena Gavrilovic Jelena Gavrilovic
Slobodan Bestic Slobodan Bestic
Katarina Zutic Katarina Zutic
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5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Milos, a retired porn star, leads a normal family life trying to make ends meet. Presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to financially support his family for the rest of their lives, Milos must participate in one last mysterious film. From then on, Milos is drawn into a maelstrom of unbelievable cruelty and mayhem. --TMDb
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: September 14, 2010
This does not serve so much as a review of the film as it does a warning: don't see this film. I am as open minded as you get in terms of cinematic content. I have a strong stomach and can handle anything. But I felt myself needing several showers after sitting through the entirety of "A Serbian Film", one of the most utterly pointless horror films to come around in a long time. It basically takes the 'torture porn' idea to a whole new level by inventing a new term which can only be described as 'newborn porn'. You heard that right. And it is just as grisly as the term would suggest. 'Newborn porn' has no place in any society, archaic or other.

The film stars Srdjan Todorovic as Milos, a former porn-star who is getting older and re-evaluating his life and his career. He agrees to take part in an 'art film' hoping that it will get him out of his former business for good and introduce him to more serious roles. What he soon discovers, however, is that he has become involved in a snuff film ring that focuses on pedophilia and necrophilia. Therein lies "A Serbian Film" in all its glory. What do you get to see in this film, you might ask? SPOILERS: You get to see a woman give birth to a baby and then immediately have sex with the child until it dies. You get to see a man decapitate a girl in mid sex and then copulate with her corpse. These are just a couple of the wholesome activities in this film.

What's most disheartening is that this filmmaker obviously has talent. The film is technically stunning. The cinematography is beautiful and inventive. The acting is pretty exceptional throughout. The pacing and the keen sense of tension is built to unspeakable heights. All of that works so well in this film. Too bad the subject matter is so repulsive and so merit-less that it sours every other aspect of the film. And I know what some of you out there will say -- "Oh, lighten up." Is there really a way to lighten up about a grown man having sex with a newborn baby until it dies? Is there ever going to be a way for that thing to be watchable? If you're one of the people who loves watching that kind of thing, hurray for you. I found it to be in poor taste.

This film played SXSW and I barely missed it there. I should have stayed away. Nothing could have prepared me for this film or how dirty I would feel after watching it. There is zero doubt that this is currently the most sickening and disturbing film ever made...hands down. Forget what you've seen. "A Serbian Film" is a new level in slime. Every now and again a film comes along that defies all sense I have of cinematic values. What was the point of this film? I have heard the director give some bullshit response about the film really showing what it's like to live in Serbia. Bullshit. I know some Serbians. They might not have it easy but this is not an accurate depiction of any civilization. If this is a view on any part of society, we might as well as drink the spiked Flavor-Aid. 0/10.
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Chad #1: Chad - added 09/14/2010, 12:56 PM
Reading this review and looking at your final score confuses me. Let's see, you're saying:

1) It does exactly what it set out to do: shock and disgust the audience.
2) The cinematography is beautiful and inventive.
3) The acting is pretty exceptional throughout.
4) The pacing and the keen sense of tension is built to unspeakable heights.

...and then plopping down a 0/10 because of #1? Wait, what? That's sort of like saying "Yeah, Clerks had some great writing, the acting was awesome, the characters were believable, the soundtrack was amazing, it was full of memorable lines, but goddamn it, it MADE ME LAUGH. Fuck that movie!"
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 09/14/2010, 04:14 PM
My score is a reflection of the level of my recommendation. I would not recommend this film to ANYONE even with its positive merits. Just because someone tosses some glitter on a turd -- yeah, it's a pretty turd but it's still a piece of shit. All of the things I mentioned in my review are true -- they do not make the film worth seeing.
Chad #3: Chad - added 09/14/2010, 04:31 PM
What I'm saying is, it did what it set out to do: it shocked you and it disgusted you. That was what the filmmakers attempted to do, and it worked. Everything surrounding that element of the movie worked as well, in your opinion (I haven't seen it yet - kinda hard to watch this one at work, but it's on my Archos). I know you don't like these kinds of movies (see: Hostel), but it just boggles the mind that you'd damn the movie for doing what it advertised. Again, that's like complaining that a comedy made you laugh or that a documentary taught you something.
bluemeanie #4: bluemeanie - added 09/14/2010, 05:05 PM
I damned the movie for not enjoying it and thinking it was pointless. How is that wrong? I think "Disaster Movie" did what it set out to do also -- does that mean I should give it a higher score? Come on...
Ginose #5: Ginose - added 09/14/2010, 11:53 PM
This movie was utterly pointless, profane, disgusting and served, in no way, to advance film as an art-form.
I still loved the fuck out of it.
Aside from being gorgeous, it was definately a test in the limits of bad taste, and it worked in wonderful ways. I wasn't bored once throughout, and found myself, ME, actually shocked by the movie as it went on. Not that it was anything deeply cerebral, but it was a glorious mind-fuck of exploitation and just plain nasty. The effects were great, the actign was actually pretty fantastic across the spread. All of the human drama and characterization of Milo and his family (brother included) were extremely realistic, and, overall this was just the type of morbid, horrific film that we need, to wash the boring torture-porn from our mouths and give us something exciting.
8/10
You crazy, Billy Ray. You crazy.
BuryMeAlive #6: BuryMeAlive - added 09/15/2010, 05:25 AM
I haven't seen the film (yet), but that was one of the worst movie reviews ever.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 09/15/2010, 12:15 PM
Yes -- I apologize to the world for not liking certain films. Heaven forbid I have specific tastes. And thank you for your compliment on my review -- I wanted my review to match the film and evidently I succeeded.
BuryMeAlive #8: BuryMeAlive - added 09/15/2010, 04:02 PM
I think you can apologize better than that...
bluemeanie #9: bluemeanie - added 09/15/2010, 05:46 PM
Oh, if only your screen name were fortuitous...
benloveshorror #10: benloveshorror - added 09/16/2010, 03:48 AM
You don't have to apologize to anyone for not liking this movie. It does sound horrible.
Dametria #11: Dametria - added 09/20/2010, 02:23 AM
Meh, nothing new. De Sade addressed that in Juliette. I don't have the book on me at the moment but I remember one of his buddies apparently knocked up his daughters after their first period the hangs them like piniatas at 9 months pregnant, beats them till the baby pops out then has sex with the baby, male or female (in graphic detail about the sound of the pelvis breaking, etc)..... I remember him being from "a distant land" I wonder if it was Serbia.....
Frank Zito #12: Frank Zito - added 09/27/2010, 06:44 PM
Jesus Christ monkey-balls… what a godawful review. You start out by stating: “I am as open minded as you get in terms of cinematic content. I have a strong stomach and can handle anything.” Well, obviously not. This film offended you – you must have known going in that it was intended to shock and it sounds like a serious case of buyer’s remorse to me. We all know that this film will probably never receive wide distribution, and you should understand that one guaranteed way to ensure that a film like this finds an audience is to warn people not to see it. In the third paragraph, you praise virtually every technical and performance aspect of the film, then go on to award ZERO stars! A review is supposed to be objective, not a knee-jerk reaction based on a moral objection. I have only recently discovered this site, and have been impressed with what I’ve found – even-handed and insightful reviews written by people (including yourself) with genuine enthusiasm for horror cinema – until I came across this piece of dross. I think you should seriously consider taking it down – if anything your ‘warning’ may bring the film to the attention of people who were unaware of it’s existence! I have seen the film and found it shocking, though certainly not the most disturbing film I’ve seen. For one thing, there is a seam of absurdist humor running throughout. Forget all the crap about this being a political film, this is straight-up shock cinema which effortlessly pulls the rug out from under the endless wave of lame-ass torture horror by the raising the bar to mind-boggling levels of extremity. Provocative, to be sure, but surely grown adults should be encouraged to make up their own minds? In my opinion it’s a decent film which, while not half as clever as it’s director would have us believe, is luridly entertaining nevertheless. No way this rates 0/10 on objective terms.
Lucid Dreams #13: Lucid Dreams - added 09/27/2010, 08:13 PM
I find it funny that everyone hates this review? He stated that he rated it based on how he would recommend it to someone. Just because he said he liked the way it looked and how the characters acted he stated that he did not like the story to it. Is he suppose to give it a 3 or maybe 4 just because someone was good with the lighting on the film? It's his opinion to rate his review, if you all have something to say about how great this movie is then write your own review.
Ginose #14: Ginose - added 09/27/2010, 11:48 PM
Actually, a critque is giving an analysis based on your personal opinion. A review is a more objective analysis of a film's merits from all aspects of it.
Well, that's what I've always gathered the difference is. As that's normally the difference I've seen between the writings of film critics and film reviewers. I think a critic can stat an opinion that people respect based upon their knowledge of the medium, where as a reviewer explains how they felt about the film's individual components, thus, reviewing a movie rather than just telling people how they felt about it. I THOUGHT that's what it was, anyway... that's how I've been writing mine...
Chad #15: Chad - added 10/03/2010, 04:11 PM
This movie was actually great, and it managed to do something that few films can: it shocked me and it disgusted me. Me, the guy who is almost untouchable after two decades of horror movies. Major credit to the filmmakers for doing that and also telling a captivating story at the same time.

As for the review, yeah, it was completely unfounded to trash the movie based on a ten-second scene that only serves to show what kind of people these filmmakers are (the ones in the movie, not the ones in the real world). They're made out to be people who deal in highly illegal, highly repulsive pornography - did you expect to see them filming a normal missionary position or, heavens to Betsy, an anal scene?
setsura #16: setsura - added 10/03/2010, 07:38 PM
Only the serbians could make something this completely fucked up, i have watched some messed up shit in my life and i thought i could handle anything but then i watched this, i dont know how i managed to watch it all. While it was not the best review i kinda wished i listened to bluemeanie's warning, even if you think you can watch anything and shrug it off if this movie does not affect you in any way, you are not human. It basicly left me feeling like what happend to the fat bald guy near the end of the movie actually happend to me... On the plus side, i know think i really can watch anything because nothing is ever going to be as bad as this. 8/10
grain of sand #17: grain of sand - added 10/21/2010, 04:23 AM
Damn, I thought this was a stylish and disgusting little thrill ride. I caught this a couple of months ago in a packed theater in San Francisco, sold out. I know it's gnarly but eh, I just didn't think it was so shocking after spending my time in my late teens watching all that august underground bullshit, but hey that's just me. I've seen it twice now, showing friends and what not, but I'll never watch it again. I recommend it to anyone that's open minded and into shock cinema. 9/10 for bringing my hand to my face a couple times..
Andy van Heel #18: Andy van Heel - added 06/26/2012, 04:19 AM
This movie was brutal in every way. I am a young father and some scenes I saw will stay with me as long as I walk this earth. I cannot unsee what i saw, and sometimes I wish I did. Nevertheless, the movie is actually good. Acting, production value, score, ... it was all there. I think this can be considered as art, but that does not mean it's the f*cking Mona Lisa. It is brutal, discusting and it takes you on a descent into hell unlike any other film has ever done. Before this movie I considered stuff like 'Lucker the Necrophagus' and 'Necromantics' to be peaces of extreme cinema. After seeing a Serbian Movie with my friend (If I would have watched it with my girlfriend I think a single man would be writing this comment) these other movies look like SnowWhite. A SM was a genuin experience, a true event. I never want to see this movie again. Beware... 9/10
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