Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Studio: Biff Juggernaut Productions
Review Rating: 7.5
Tom and Dan are childhood friends who, when their boring adult lives are shattered by a series of videos with a disturbing secret, find both their worlds spiraling out of control.
Nasty trends like Found Footage, Splattergore, and Torture Porn are still plaguing the Horror film genre. To find anything good with those long-forgotten things like an engaging plot, one needs to go back to the Independent circuit. And there is where we find gems like Gut. Simple, sparing, and utterly fascinating, Gut is a reminder of what good old fashioned obsession should be.
So Tom (Jason Vail) is a family man, with wife Lily (Sarah Schoofs) and daughter, a fairly nice place to live in, of course in the midst of middle-class nowhere, with a boring cubicle job and apparently all of one friend. Dan (Nicholas Wilder) has the same boring cubicle job right across from Tom, no spouse and no girlfriend in sight, and all he wants is to hang out with his childhood friend, drink beer and watch cheap horror flicks, just like they used to. Tom is clearly barreling towards your typical mid-life crisis and when he decides to move his family elsewhere, doesn’t tell Dan until later and has to endure Dan’s hurt reaction, of course Tom agrees to one last late night of guys movie night. This is where Tom and Dan are first subject to these films that Dan apparently got off some website somewhere, sick if sparse things that show a persons stomach/gut being cut open and an ungloved hand being thrust into the cuts made. All too soon, both Tom and Dan are obsessing heavily over these videos, as more keep coming and Dan keeps having both of them watch em. Tom is soon fantasizing, drenched in sweat and sick desire. While Dan is finding new and interesting heights of confidence, enough to ask out the waitress at the same diner he and Tom have been going to for lunch for like ever. This is, unfortunately, where the film does get a teensy bit predictable, but then I’ve seen far far too many movies, so perhaps it won’t be quite as predictable for you. All too soon, the waitress turned girlfriend goes missing and turns up on one of the videos that Dan watched, poor thing. Confronting Tom with the knowledge, the two friends of course react badly and flip out over the entire matter. Time is running out, the guilt is eating at both Tom and Dan, and who knows what the next video will feature!
Director Elias provides us with a fine example of what a good spare obsessive storyline, coupled with fine acting and a rather haunting score, can do for uplifting the Horror genre. I was fortunate to meet the man at the showing of Gut I attended, and look forward to other heretofore-undiscovered gems of his in the future!