Friday, September 13, 2013

Compulsion (2013) dir Egidio Coccimiglio

Compulsion has two draws for me, Heather Graham and cooking.  Combine those two elements with top shelf production quality, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kevin Dillon, Joe Mantegna, and you have a nasty little remake of the Korean 301, 302 (which I haven't seen because I'm not all hot and flustered by K-Horror that much...).

This is a psychological thriller for gourmands.  Where Feed is ostensibly a "foodie" (I hate that fucking word) horror movie Compulsion is food pr0n of the highest quality.  Graham's Amy is a gourmand whose entire world and sense of self, sexuality, ability to interact with other people centers around haute cuisine.  She is obsessed with food to the point of being frigging nuts.  At first it's endearing, plus Graham is ravishing in her classic dresses and aprons, but over the course of the film she gets spookier and spookier.

This is another one of those movies where the less you know about it going in the better.  Moss dishes up (no pun intended) a particularly painful performance - in the best way possible.  Dillon, well I really like Kevin Dillon but every time I see him I go, "Oh shit, it's Kevin Dillon."  I dug his character and his performance as Fred, Amy's fiance.  There's one section of dialogue in which he says something that made me say, "Oh.  Dude.  You done fucked up now."  I've been a Mantegna fan since I was a young film dork (I particularly loved him in David Mamet's Homicide (1991)) and he delivers a great performance as the straight-man of Compulsion.

What I really enjoyed about Compulsion is a two-fer.  The first: This is a movie for grown-ups.  Not because of T&A or anything of the sort.  The themes, pacing, dialogue, and ability to connect with the characters is stronger if you're older/experienced/etc.  I could easily say the same thing about some of Almodovar's work or Greenaway's classic The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1987) or  Delicatessen (1991).  The second:  No gore despite the abundance of sharp and jabby kitchen implements and some really dark happenings.  Yes, I know, gore has its time and place when the movie calls for it but my gorehound days are fading in my rear view mirror.  I still love Neil Marshall gore though, then again I love him doubleplus good.

I strongly recommend Compulsion for you folks who can appreciate a strong psychological thriller as much as they can an exquisite meal.  If not, there's always an Eli Roth movie you can fap to whilst eating Jack in the Box.   

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