Dis – Movie Review

dis

In Dante Aligher’s poem, The Divine Comedy, Dis is said to encompass the 6th through the 9th rings of Hell. Within the walls of the City of Dis, Dante encounters the damned who were violent towards others, the suicides, the blasphemers and those who have committed sexual perversions, you will quickly come to realize Dis is a very fitting title.

An ex soldier (Bill Oberst Jr), with a seemingly mysterious past, secludes himself to a small cabin deep within the forest with only a blowup doll to keep him company. As he completes his everyday mundane tasks, we discover that he is being stalked by a hidden figure. While out exploring, he happens upon an abandon building and soon after entering, discovers a bare breasted, masked woman. His attempts at communication with the young lady fall upon deaf ears and as he follows her, she throws herself from the top of the building. Soon after, the soldier seemingly overcome with depression, attempts to take his own life, but as he raises his rifle, a masked figure approaches from behind, knocking him unconscious. When he awakens, he finds him self chained to a wall and thus begins his descent into Hell.

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To start off, I was not at all familiar with Mr. Bill Oberst Jr. upon initially viewing Dis, a disservice i quickly amended upon finishing the film. Bill Oberst Jr. gives off an amazing performance in a role, that for a large portion of the film requires little to no dialogue, instead relying on Bill’s ability to tell the story through his movement. Bill Oberst Jr. gives off the commanding screen presence of a seasoned Academy Award winning actor and I very much look forward to making myself more familiar with his work. The visuals presented throughout the film are another noteworthy achievement. I assume the film was done on a relatively small budget, but visually this is not at all evident. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful at times and at other times it looks like nightmare fuel (in a good way). The flashback scenes are shot in black and white and while many films use this technique, Dis has a certain style to it that certainly stands out from the usual. Also a special shout out to the sfx team for the monster design at the end, very nice and very creepy. The overall tone of the film is very dirty, very gross. There were times during the film where i had to pause the movie and make sure no one was seeing, what i was seeing, because I wasn’t even sure if I should be seeing, what I was seeing ( that opening scene was especially brutal). I’m pretty sure writer/directer Adrian Corona, set out to make a film that was equal parts scary and equal parts uncomfortable and it was certainly a success in that sense. Where Dis truly shines though is that it felt real, thanks to the cinematography and a stellar performance by Bill Oberst Jr.. Dis is not completely without its drawbacks however. With not much in the way of a complex story, in an already short film at 61 minutes, Dis still felt maybe a tad bit too long. But with a performance like Bill’s and an opening and ending scene that will make your skin crawl, Dis is certainly a film that should be on every Horror fan’s radars.


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