06 May 2015

"THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET" (/SLASH 1/2 Mini-Festival, 2015)


Original Title:

Alternate Spellings:
М. О. Ж. / M.O.Zh.

Latvia / Estonia, 2014
Director: Aik Karapetian


*sigh* It could have been so, so good...
"The Man in the Orange Jacket" [super-cool title, super-cool poster] is an artsy horror film shot and produced in Latvia [yay, I've haven't seen any Latvian movies before!], following a young dockworker who seeks revenge for being laid off from his job by entering the luxurious remote mansion of his boss, killing him and his wife. He hides the bodies and immediately starts a new life, becoming the "man in the house", living off all the money and all the luxuries he can find in the mansion - but soon, la dolce vita becomes a nightmare when he starts hearing terrifying noises and seeing mysterious figures...

The movie starts out simply terrific: a mesmerising opening with lots of beautiful slow-motion sequences, astonishing images of gorgeous landscapes and stunningly designed interiors, and some incredibly harsh brutality, followed by many, many intense scenes that slightly resemble the direction style of Michael Haneke, as well as various unforeseeable shocks, non-cheap jump scares and lots of powerful suspense + epic music, fantastic cinematography and a striking performance by rookie actor Maxim Lazarev.

Then, in the second half, it all falls apart and ends up bitterly disappointing [HUGE SPOILERS!] with a lame and worn out twist ending à la "High Tension" or "The Secret Garden" *yawn*. Director / writer Aik Karapetian obviously ran dry of ideas how to properly end this movie. I'd even assume that once it came to the ending, he simply didn't care which is a shame.  The first half is so fucking great, I really thought about giving it a 9/10 - but the second half is such a weak and poor mishmash of other movies, like "American Psycho", "The Machinist", "The Changeling", "YellowBrickRoad" and the above-mentioned titles, it's... man, it's so fucking frustrating, especially because of the dumb ending and the scene with the twins which starts out fantastic, but ends up bland as hell.

Starts good. Ends bad. Meh. What a letdown.

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