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Review: Scams (2008)

Directed by: | 75 minutes | , horror, , fiction | Actors: , Roy Dupuis, , , , , Karim Bourara, ,

‘Truffe’ is actually a about two lovers who have trouble making ends meet, but nevertheless persist in character and love power. The things that happen are a test that will make their love stronger or destroy it. It is also an indictment of the mind-numbing influence of consumer thinking in the modern consumer society, in which mass production causes all love and creativity to be lost in factories that mainly use ‘quotas’. The whole thing is cast in a jacket with (alien?) Monsters and some black humor.

Nice black and white shot too, nice main characters, who can also act and a nice build-up in the beginning. Until the first fur collars appear on the scene. These turn out to be small monsters that look like large caterpillars of fur, with a small mouth with sharp teeth. The viewer is confronted with a question, which is: should this be scary or fun? It’s neither, unfortunately. The monsters are too fake to be taken seriously and the movie is too serious to be really funny. And so, in addition to a number of characters, the monsters mainly kill the power of the film.

It is a why screenwriter / director Kim Nguyen chose this form. If only the film had become a kind of ‘Delicatessen’ (1991), it has that atmosphere a bit in the beginning, especially when the parents are introduced, in a dryly funny, strong scene. All the fuss around the truffles so far is also interesting and entertaining and pleasantly vague. Because you actually cannot really find out why those truffles are so special and yet everyone is going all out for it. It feels a bit alienating, but that’s strong, because it covers the absurdist content. That absurdity is also reflected in design, such as those large refrigerators that truffle representatives have to carry around. Fine. Yet that vagueness will disturb and that is again due to those monsters. Because it remains unclear whether they mean funny or not. Where they come from and why they are here is also not clear. They turn out to be classic parasites and have even made a few humanoid androids that control them, but also appear to be controlled by something themselves, but by whom or what remains in the middle.

Many lines are drawn, which are not clearly elaborated or completed. They also take a little too little time for it, 75 minutes but, really too short, if Nguyen did not know anymore. As said before, the film opens strongly, with the choice of black and white working out well for the atmosphere. The film’s derailment is therefore due to an overly elaborated script, in which form and content are not in balance, do not reinforce each other, but undermine. The biggest culprits in this are those stupid little monsters, who are not funny and too fake to impress in any other way. The makers may have been trying to send society a critical message, but you have to package it better. Because in this way you eventually miss your goal.

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