Breeder review – muddled torture porn horror | Film

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A movie from Denmark that sounds enjoyably bizarre but actually amounts to a yucky helping of torture/imprisonment porn and gonzo violence. Sara Hjort Ditlevsen is Mia, a stylish woman with a liking for horses and BDSM. Her rich but dull husband, Thomas (Anders Heinrichsen), is squeamish about gratifying Mia’s tastes, but hardly squeaky clean. He is a secret investor in a creepy eternal-youth genetic treatment programme, being developed by the couple’s sinister neighbour Dr Isabel Ruben (Signe Egholm Olsen), who looks 40 but is actually 60 and has some sort of hold on Thomas; she is now kidnapping young women off the streets for her research like a latter-day Elizabeth “Blood Countess” Báthory. Mia tries investigating Dr Ruben’s loathsome facility and finds herself walled up there as well.

The hero/villain dynamic in this film gets muddled, which is important for this kind of horror-melodrama: Mia is at first presented as not very nice – arrogant, maybe, infatuated with wealth and status, and nursing unresolved feelings about her dark taste in transgressive sex. But other people then easily trump her nastiness and Mia has to be a sexualised victim-heroine in the evil torture-dungeon scenario (although her BDSM is now presented as ironic). Thomas’s split loyalties, meanwhile, make him seem feeble rather than complex. As for Dr Ruben, she has a Rosa Klebb-like energy that would be interesting in a less humourless film.

• Available from 15 February on digital formats.

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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Breeder review – muddled torture porn horror | Film

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