The Bunny Game (2010)

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An absolutely sense-numbing, patience-testing attempt at “extreme” cinema. The Bunny Game begins with a prostitute (Rodleen Gestic) performing oral sex (unsimulated?) and follows her over one day of hustling tricks in alleys and motel rooms. She is repeatedly beaten and degraded and it doesn’t take long for all the “provocation” to become tiresome. Then she gets picked up by a sadistic trucker who proceeds to knock her unconscious, tie her up and make her endure an afternoon of twisted role-play, torture, rape and other cliches of shock filmmaking.

Now, I’m all for pushing the audience to the limits if you can anchor it on a story, a concept or an aesthetic that justifies the punishment. I don’t mind excessive violence, nudity and nastiness if it’s for a purpose. The Bunny Game has none of these things. The last 45 minutes devolve into an endless cacophony of frenzied cutting, piercing sound design and blaring imagery. It is filmmaking as blunt instrument. Lacking structure, focus and, seemingly, a point, the film ends up feeling like the B-roll footage of a death metal music video stretched out to an apparently endless 76 minutes. It’s a fucking nightmare.

Now I’m guessing all this craziness is supposed to mirror the confusing, nightmarish and hopeless position the protagonist finds herself in but rather than being subjective or immersive, it just becomes a flurry of LOUD NOISES, SCREAMING FACES!!! It becomes so excessive and irritating and goes on for so long that you. Just. Stop. Caring. I honestly couldn’t wait for it to end.

But hey, it’s in black and white! How arty! Nope. Just lazy. Gets a bonus star for the work of the lead actress who seemingly put herself through hell for nothing. Scratch this off your Shocktober list immediately. If you want to kill 76 minutes, watch the end credits to the extended version of Lord of the Rings instead.

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