Enter the Void (2009)

Enter-the-void-poster

Genre: Eeerrrm, not sure…incestuous drama perhaps?

Cast: People I’ve never heard of…although the weird looking chick’s apparently on Boardwalk Empire

Synopsis: A junkie/drug dealer living in Tokyo gets killed and then has an out of body experience

Enter the Void is one of those movies that you only need to watch once. In fact, it’s probably a movie you’ll only want to watch once. The whole movie can be summed up in one four-word sentence: this shit be cray. I’m all for a little craziness in movies and this film definitely pushes the envelope. Well, ‘pushing the envelope’ is a little too tame: this movie throws the whole fucking parcel at your face…a parcel which contains abortions. I’m not being flippant or un-PC here. The film actually has a pretty explicit abortion scene that I wasn’t entirely prepared for but the abortion scene is but one example of the film’s fucked up-ness.

“What other examples of fucked up-ness can you divulge, Baked?” I hear you cry. Well, here’s one. The first ten minutes is just continuous strobe lighting. I say ‘continuous’ and not ‘continual’ because the strobe lighting is non-stop. At first it’s kind of cool but after a couple of minutes it starts to become really uncomfortable. After another couple of minutes it becomes bloody unbearable and you can’t help but look away from the screen. The discomfort experienced in the opening minutes is a good harbinger: the overall feeling I experienced while watching this movie was one of discomfort. The main character’s life is just all kinds of fucked up and the audience is fully exposed to it: hardcore drugs, stripping, inappropriate relationships with a really weird looking sister, out-of-body incest (yes, I did just write that), and the coup de grace, an internal cum shot. I really didn’t need to see that last one. I took science in school; I know how babies are made.

Despite the film’s foray into the land of WTF, there are also quite a few moments of extreme beauty which make up for the pain the audience endures. The scene in which the main character takes the drug which brings him close to death is particularly interesting. When he takes the drug we see these intricate snowflake lighting structures which are accompanied by what sounds like rattlesnake rattles. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, beauty and death. Another thing I liked was the floating first-person viewpoint. It means the audience sees very little of the Tokyo sprawl but what the audience gets instead is this kind of “toy box Tokyo.” It makes the environment a lot less imposing which means we can focus our attention on how fucked up the main characters are.

Although I said at the beginning of this review that I have no desire to watch this movie again, it’s not because I didn’t like the film. In fact, if I’m being honest, I actually quite enjoyed the movie. The trouble is that it throws way too many extremes at you and, if you’re high, it all just becomes way too potent. Seeing an abortion is pretty harrowing any way but when you’re getting your 420 on it’s just too much. However, I think you’re supposed to watch the movie high. Drug use is a big part of the film so guess it’s a prerequisite. I don’t regret watching the movie while stoned because it meant that the film’s emotional aspects, both negative and positive, were at their zenith. It’s a rare thing to have a film elicit such strong gut reactions and feelings of discomfort but it’s nice to know that there are filmmakers out there who still try to really shock and dazzle you instead of offering the same 3D Hansel and Gretel bullshit.

High-lights:

  • A lot of trippy beauty.
  • The English kid made me laugh: “You fucked my mum mate!!!” Lol. So perfectly British in a rather undefinable way.
  • This one here’s a panty sniffer!!! I can’t remember why I wrote that in my notes…there probably was a panty sniffing scene at one point…I mean, the film is set in Japan.

Downers:

  • Aaaand that’s a penis…aaaand that’s a vagina…aaaand that’s an abortion…aaaaaaaaand that’s an internal cum shot. Too much.
  • HE PUT’S HIS SOUL INTO HIS SISTER’S WOMB!!!!
  • I don’t understand how his sister gets off the plane and that very night is like: “Yeah, I’m going to go off with this guy and become a stripper.” Does that really happen?

Summary:

This movie is only for the brave of heart…and for those who don’t have epilepsy. It’s definitely an experience to watch this movie stoned and I’m tempted to say that you shouldn’t watch it sober under any circumstances because then it’s just depressing in a really gruesome way. I’d like to score this film higher but it was so jarring at times that I questioned whether to turn the movie off on more than one occasion. I’m glad I stuck with it through to the end but it was a struggle. I appreciate that not everyone will be able to stomach this movie so I’ve given it a score which hopefully reflects that.

6/10

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5 Comments

Filed under Drama, Good

5 responses to “Enter the Void (2009)

  1. davecrewe

    I’ve never watched this film, but I have seen the title sequence on YouTube like a dozen times!

  2. Such a strange movie, however, it does cast a spell on you in its over-stylized way, and I guess that has to account for something. Good review.

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