Review of BODOM, Hungary’s first found footage horror film!

An advanced screener review!

BODOM (2014)
Director: Gergö ElekesJozsef Gallai
Writer: Gergo ElekesJozsef Gallai
Starring: Vivien TurzoBence KovacsKata Tabori

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of screening Hungary’s first found footage movie, titled BODOM. I am a huge fan of the found footage genre, but let’s call a spade a spade: it’s overused and about 70% of it is complete shit. BODOM fits into the other 30%.

The film is about a college student named Annikki who visits Bodom, the site of a massacre some 50 years ago, to do a thesis on the incident. With her is her classmate and former flame Pietari. They document everything that happens on their trip. At first, things are fine, although there are obvious tensions between the two characters. But then things start to take a turn for the worst…

Acting is usually an area I cover. In this case, the actors are speaking Hungarian which makes it difficult to judge for me, seeing as I don’t speak a word of the language. Still, from their movements, actions, mannerisms, etc, I can say that they seemed very competent. Especially the emotional outbursts of Annikki. Her fear, anger, and despair at various points in the film came across as very genuine.

The story starts like a lot of found footage films do. Some kids go into the woods, armed with a video camera, to make a documentary about an atrocity that happened at the site years ago. But that is where the similarities end. From there, the character dynamic builds and the audience is fed little bits of information that, only at the end, after several amazing twists, fall into place and start becoming significant. It’s a skillfully crafted story! Very clever!

The only downside I found is the runtime. At a scant 65 minutes, the film really can’t be considered full length by most definitions of the term. But, I will say that they crammed a lot of stuff into a small time frame and it really worked for me. This is found footage done right!

Oh, and bonus points! This is the only found footage film in this setting I have ever seen that gives an actual satisfactory answer for why they are still keeping the damned camera turned on while stuff is trying to kill them! Kudos!

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  • Steve
    30 November 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Awesome review John.

    Bodom exists, but in Finland. There was indeed a massacre there , where a group of college teens were killed, Jason Voorhees style, and found weeks later.

    This incident also gave title to one of My favorite metalk bands, Children of Bodom.

    Thank You !!!

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