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  • Sep 16, 2012
Zero stars out of ****

When a film stirs as much controversy as this one does, I feel inclined to see it just for the sake of seeing it. Most times, people make a big deal over little things; after all, it's just a movie. In the case of "A Serbian Film", I can certainly understand what all the fuss is about from both ends of the spectrum. The critics hate it because in truth is vile, amoral, perverse, and excessive, often leaving nothing to the imagination; while the "hardcore horror fans" adore it because it fits that definition (or hardcore). It literally doesn't matter where you stand with this one; you either love it or you despise it and call it filth. Nobody is right or wrong. The film tries and it tries hard. It has a power that few films these days do. That is undeniable.

But where do you draw the line? I seldom do. But with this film, I've finally been given the opportunity to do so. It's difficult to summarize how many negative emotions I felt while watching "A Serbian Film", and I'm one of those people who believes even the most negative of subjects in cinema can provoke positive emotions, because after all, it feels kind of good to think. But the more I thought about this movie, the more I hated it. It draws you in, grabs you by the balls, and takes you for a joyride to hell. It is, in its own little way, disorienting and surreal; and I should by all means love it for that. So why don't I? Why am I so pissed off by "A Serbian Film"?

The story revolves around the Serbian porn star Milos (Srdan Todorovic) who entered retirement years ago to care for his loving wife and young son, but returns to the industry yet again when an old contact gives him a job offer that he can't refuse (long story short, they're offering a shit-ton of money that could hold provide for him and his family until the kid's own number is up). His employer is a self-described artist named Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic) who wants to turn pornography into art. He doesn't tell Milos about what the job entails at first, although from the moment he arrives on-set, it's clear that this isn't your average porno.

And by "not your average porno", I mean that this is a strange little film that requires Milos to do things like beat the women that are performing oral sex on him or that he is having anal sex with, and in that particular instant, also decapitate them. Vukmir has shot little movies of his own before this one, and we get a little taste (the infamous "newborn porn" scene, which has been heavily censored in most alternate versions of the film). Milos wants out. That's easier said than done when you're dealing with a maniac like Vukmir. By the end, his family (which includes his brother, who has his eyes on Milos' wife) has gotten involved in this rotten business. The results are traumatic for all four of them.

Writer-director Srđan Spasojević has said that the film is intended as not only a satire on "politically correct films made in Serbia", but also a metaphor for what Serbian life is essentially like. The aforementioned scene involving the newborn basically goes to say that you're "raped" at birth when born in Serbia, but by the government instead of a masked man. Every day in Serbia, you're apparently molested by those who can control you. And those who can control you didn't take so kindly to this film being made and spreading such a message, if you know what I mean. But I appreciate that the movie is trying its hardest to say something, and it might as well have said it. It's a grim and hateful movie that stirs up grim and hateful emotions, so it is what it is intended to be. And in my humble opinion, that is absolute trash. Horror can be mean-spirited; message-making doesn't have to be. And simply saying "it's a political metaphor" isn't enough to justify on-screen pedophilia.

I hated "A Serbian Film". I really, really, REALLY hated it. It is unpleasant, violent, and (again, in my opinion only) one of the most pretentious motion pictures I've come across in a long time. I don't use that word lightly because I don't think we should put down filmmakers who want to do different things, but the things done in "A Serbian Film" are probably best undone. We don't need this. We will never need this. The film has the ability to disturb through a very dark visual style and a few genuinely convincing performances, and its efforts to blend graphic imagery with a somewhat tender story about family is commendable; but it lacks the ability to truly get inside your head. It's hard to swallow, it shows things that are perturbing, yes; but I can't say it really stuck with me that much. At the end of the day, it's so well-made yet repulsive that I can't rate it. But I know exactly what I think of it. And that's good enough for me. But the question is: where do you stand?

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September 16, 2012
Well, what do you know -- it is possible for us to agree on something.
September 17, 2012
More A Serbian Film reviews
review by . December 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Movie America Doesn't Want You To See
If I were to imply that A Serbian Film was an enjoyable experience, I'd be lying. Everything you could possibly hear about this film is probably true and I certainly wouldn't recommend this movie to just anyone. To make myself a bit more clear, you might want to avoid it altogether if you're not a lover of the extreme cinema.         On the same token, I'd compare it to a blind date that starts off rather slowly but ends horribly wrong. Picture …
review by . May 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         When I say that you shouldn’t see A Serbian Film, my sincerest hope is that you will not interpret my words as reverse psychology. I'm dead serious in my assertion that you must avoid this pointless, disgusting, nihilistic, morally bankrupt film. At all costs. It’s a film I not only regret having seen, but also regret thinking about seeing. I should have listened to the critics who have almost universally panned it – including …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


A Serbian Film (Serbian: Српски филм / Srpski film) is a 2010 Serbian horror film set in Serbia, the first feature film directed by Srđan Spasojević. It tells the story of a down-on-his-luck porn star who agrees to participate in an "art film", only to discover that he has been drafted into a snuff movie with child rape and necrophilic themes. The film stars Serbian actors Srđan Todorović and Sergej Trifunović. Upon its debut on the art film circuit, the film received substantial attention for its graphic depictions of rape, necrophilia, and incest.

The state prosecution of Serbia opened an investigation to find out if the film violates the law. It is being investigated for elements of crime against sexual morals and crime related to the protection of minors. It was banned by a San Sebastián court for "threatening sexual freedom" and thus could not be shown in the XXI Semana de Cine Fantástico y de Terror (21st Horror and Fantasy Film Festival).


Miloš is a semi-retired Serbian porn star with a beautiful wife and young son. Although strapped financially, his home life is happy, and his biggest problem comes in the form of the jealousies of his brother, Marko, a corrupt police officer who envies Miloš' family life.

Seeking one last big payday to make a clean break from pornography and secure his family's financial future, Miloš is intrigued when one of his former co-stars, Lejla, approaches him with an ...

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Genre: Horror
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 110 minutes

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