The Faceless Man
19 Sept 2021
James Di Martino
James Di Martino
Sophie Thurling, Lucas Pittaway, Andy McPhee, Albert Goikhman, Lorin Kauffeld
A story filled with drugs, violence, murder, awkward characters, danger, sinister people wearing masks and a terrifying monstrous figure.
Cancer survivor Emily (Thurling) is trying to get her life back on track and after attending a party, she decides to go for a holiday at a rented house along with a group of friends. However, they bring with them a suitcase that contains a large amount of cocaine, which was stolen by one of the guests at the party. This makes them a target by a vicious gangster named Viktor (Goikhman), who will stop at nothing to get it back. Meanwhile, the group find themselves surrounded by unfriendly locals, masked people appear and Emily keeps having visions that involve a faceless demonic humanlike entity with long, sharp nails. Things go from bad to worse as gore and killings become more and more frequent.
This feature is a dark comedy horror film with elements of slasher films, home invasion, gangster films and the nightmare sequences might make one think of Jacob's Ladder. It begins with a dramatic scene that reveals the sad relationship between Emily and her estranged father and moves on to the world of criminals, otherwordly creatures and people who are not happy with the group of friends who have arrived at their town. The body count rises as Viktor and his henchmen search for the suitcase and someone proceeds to stalk and murder the individuals inside the house.
The characters are interesting and Thurling plays her part well as a troubled young woman who appears to be losing her grip on reality. Goikhman is arguably the one who steals the show as the menacing crime boss who will stop at nothing in order to get what he wants.
As mentioned, there is a great deal of brutality here, with unfortunate people getting beaten, shot, stabbed and generally having very nasty things happening to them with a variety of weapons, including guns and blades. Makeup effects artist Emma Rose deserves a lot of praise for the work done for this film. The injuries look vicious and realistic.
Martino does a good job as director, creating wonderful establishing shots and well-structured long takes. The soundtrack contains pieces from various great artists, including Beethoven, Yanivi and Alek Angelov and composer Bart Walus makes a great contribution with a score that is dramatic, tense and frightening. Credit also goes to director of photography Rhys Sherring for the beautiful cinematography.
The Faceless Man is entertaining enough. The story is interesting, with plot twists and the suspense and tension grow as things proceed to spiral out of control. It may not be something special, however it is worth the experience.