Ideas far outstrip execution in "Snuff-Movie," an amateur slice of modern-day grand guignol that marks a sad decline for Brit director Bernard Rose after horror gems like "Paperhouse" and "Candyman." Pic's world preem at the Edinburgh fest could well mark the end of its theatrical career.

Ideas far outstrip execution in “Snuff-Movie,” an amateur slice of modern-day grand guignol that marks a sad decline for Brit director Bernard Rose after horror gems like “Paperhouse” and “Candyman.” Come-on title masks a bloody but increasingly ridiculous scarefest, with Jeroen Krabbe over-acting wildly as a legendary movie director restaging his wife’s long-ago murder. Pic’s world preem (on HD) at the Edinburgh fest could well mark the end of its theatrical career.

First 20 minutes show some promise as Rose spoofs ’60s horror movies and then, in scratchy homemovie footage that’s the best thing in the film, shows the Manson Family-like slaying of Mary Arkadin (Lisa Enos) & Co. in a north London manse circa 1975. Cut to the present, and Mary’s husband, reclusive horror helmer Boris (Krabbe), lures four wannabe actors — including Wendy Jones (Enos again) — to stay the night in the same house and re-create her murder for his vidcams. Dialogue is cheesy in an unfunny way, plotting is unbelievable, even on a genre level, and performances are worthy of summer stock. Romanian interiors double OK for London, but the clinical HD lensing has no atmosphere.

Snuff-Movie

(U.K.-Romania-U.S.

Production

A K&L Prods. presentation of an Enos Rose production, in association with Kushner Wyman Locke. (International sales: Focal Point Releasing, Beverly Hills, Calif.) Produced by Brad Wyman, Donald Kushner, Peter Locke, Lisa Enos. Co-producers, Pierre Spengler, Vlad Paunescu. Directed, written by Bernard Rose.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Rose; editor, Susan Swayne; music, Matt Shultz, Jake Leopold, Nigel Holland; art director, Tine Jespersen; costume designer, Oana Paunescu. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival (Late Night Romps). Aug. 26, 2005. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Jeroen Krabbe, Lisa Enos, Teri Harrison, Alastair Mackenzie, Hugo Myatt, Joe Reegan, Sharif, Andrew Tiernan, Teodor Necula, Lyndsey Marshal, Catalina Harabagiu, Viorica Voda.
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