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Review: 'Gut'

June 14, 2013 11:57 a.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews the indie horror film, "Gut."

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

ANCHOR INTRO: The indie film “Gut” won the Audience Choice Award at last year’s Horrible Imaginings Film Festival last year. Now it’s back for a pair of encore screenings this Friday and Saturday at the Digital Gym Cinema. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando has this review.

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Tom and Dan were best friends in school but now that Tom has a family the two have been drifting apart.

DAN: We never hang out any more.

The catalyst that sends their friendship into an intense downward spiral is a mysterious video of someone being sliced open.

DAN: So what do you think?
TOM: What do I think?
DAN: Yeah I mean, do you think it’s real, it feels real doesn’t it? Don’t you want to talk about it?

Tom may not but audiences do. Director Elias Ganster uses his low budget to his advantage to hone the film down to what’s essential – the characters and story. He creates a claustrophobic psychological thriller that asks if we are responsible for what we watch. Ganster says the film addresses the inherent voyeurism in human beings.

ELIAS GANSTER: I’d liken it to a rubber necker at the scene of an accident. I think a lot of folks, myself included have been there. It’s very hard to look away from something like that and I don’t think that this is that different. It’s just on video.

Ganster doesn’t answer what’s morally okay but he poses the question in a provocative way. This is a smart horror film that employs a carefully calibrated and low key style to turn the screws on both the characters and the audience.

Ganster will be at the screenings to field questions about both the themes and the making of a film on a micro-budget.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.