Behind the Cross (2012)

After taking fifteen showers and scrubbing my skin raw with bleach and sandpaper all day, I think I'm ready to write this review. Ok, maybe not...

weeks later...

My therapist says I'm ok now, the double doses of Zoloft and Prozac seem to be working, and I've been able to sleep at night lately, perhaps now I'm

ohgod, is it September already?...

Hey, how you all doing? Today I'm going to review a Finnish independent horror film made by some death metal-loving reindeer-riders with some serious mental issues. This was actually a pre-release screener sent to me by the film's director/star/soul-murderer Tomi and I told him I would do him a solid by reviewing his film. Now he owes me back my emotional stability and my understanding of what is right and wrong. It's not that it's a "bad" movie, in fact, it's shot and edited with surprising skill, much more than I was expecting. The lighting is great when it needs to be, the visual effects are efficient and appropriate, the sound recording (in English!) is beyond top-notch, and the camera work is tight and stable with virtually none of that crappy shaky-cam stuff you see everywhere these days. In a lot of ways it's a better technical film than many you see in theaters with a billion times the budget. Widescreen format and in digital HD to boot! High-five to you, Tomi.

And this would be Tomi, he kills people, a lot.

The problem is that it's a movie entirely about a serial killer kidnapping, raping, and murdering teenage girls in horrible, graphic, pornographic, mind-destroying ways. I care not for that subject matter, regardless of how well-edited the scenes are, but I understand that there's a segment of the population at large that enjoys this sort of thing. Not sure if those people should be allowed to walk the earth without some sort of electronic tracking device or not, but that's a value judgment that's best left for others.

I hope they paid these actresses well.

There's untold horrors to be seen in this movie, mercifully just 40 minutes long, but none that unsettles me more than the scenes of a little kid, the protagonist at a young age in flashbacks, killing and torturing people. That'z not okay. Neither is all the Satanic/Catholic imagery, the cross-licking, the penis-stroking, the corpse-chopping, the head-shooting, the eye-gouging, the human-sacrificing, the blood-draining, the ball gags and fetish robes, basically everything from the opening credits to the sweet release of the final credit line. It's all insanely disturbing and stomach-churning and I have to admit that I watched it through the cracks in my fingers as they clutched my face in a futile attempt to protect my soul from what was on the screen. If I ever needed any reminder that I'm just not cut out for the horror genre, this was proof enough for me.

Yeah, you need to stop doing that.

And that's going to have to be it, I tried to go back and cut out some more screen shots, but trying to find one that didnt involve crucifying kidnapped girls and killing them with claw hammers was pretty difficult so I gave up. Thanks for the sneak peek at your film, Tomi, I hope it finds a distributor and an audience (and I'm sure it will). Again, though the subject matter is abhorrent to me in every possible way, I can freely admit that it's a well-made film that's seen some excellent post-production work and Im sure that somewhere in Finland there are any number of pierced and tattooed heavy metal dudes who will watch this movie while furiously masturbating and recommend it to all their friends. I'm going to Confession now, maybe bathe in some Holy Water.

Written in September 2013 by Nathan Decker.

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