Comments Off on Fondue
I don’t understand all this hate for Canada. I’ve been there a few times and it’s a nice, quiet place and I always have a good time. After all, they have given us wonderful things like Bacon, Rush and poutine. Well now I would like to add another thing to that list: The films of young filmmaker Torin Langen. Usually when we think of Canadian films, The Final Sacrifice comes to mind, but I’m here to erase that memory from your mind and fill it with a pleasant one.
This memory in particular is a short I was fortunate enough to see entitled Fondue from Candle Flame Films. I wasn’t sure what Fondue was about, but having seen some of Torin’s previous work, such as Trash, I was pretty excited to view this. And let me tell you… I was blown away.
The film starts off with a young woman sitting quietly by herself on sidewalk of a busy city. A young man comes to meet her and the two frolic off to a department store where they pick up some creepy masks and some cheerful looking pumpkin buckets for Trick or Treating, giving you the indication that it’s probably for Halloween. However, the streets seem to be lacking any children, dressed as ghouls or goblins out and about haggling for candy door to door. It’s here that the pair dons there masks and walk side by side down some railroad tracks as they mark their hands with an ‘F’. They make their way to a house that looks like it should be in a Rob Zombie film as they bump into another young woman, also in a mask holding a bucket, as she is skipping away from the house. The three stare at each other for a moment and it’s at this moment when you realize how quiet the town seems and that something terrible could happen at any moment. The young girl just scoots pass them as they make their way up to the door.
Once at the house, someone in a mask invites the girl in as the boy waits outside. The interior of the house, desperately needing some interior decoration (maybe someone should call the guys from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). The girl is instructed to go upstairs after being handed an intense looking knife, hooked and bearing teeth similar to a saw. Once upstairs, she hesitates for a moment and stands in a doorway, very reminiscent of slasher villains Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. Then we see what she was staring at: A young man, bound and gagged in a rusted, filthy bathtub, hooked up to some homemade IV. She advances with the knife and the film reveals its true nature.
Fondue was truly unnerving for the right reasons. For starters, the film’s muted color bring out the grey sky, the orange and brown of the dead leaves and the dried blood red house make you feel uncomfortable in your own surroundings, leaving you with a sense of dread that you are in constant danger. The only time we see the characters faces is at the beginning. These kids look innocent and harmless, but once they don their monster masks, which seem to fit their faces and personality, they turn into soulless beings capable of macabre things. Fondue is also void of any dialogue and the actors are forced to show emotion through masks, which is no easy task when no one speaks and is hiding their faces, but their eyes, peering beyond the masks (especially actress Raven Cousens) shakes you to your core.
Aside from the wind whipping dead tree branches, the sound or gravel and hardwood floors beneath their shoes and the occasional passing train, Fondue’s only soundtrack are very rusty guitar strings, reminding me of Neil Young, matches the tone, both visually and viscerally.
Overall, the film was an eerie experience and had sort of a Jim Jarmusch vibe to it, mixed with a little bit of Hitchcock tension. Fondue is respectually getting the recognition it deserves and turning heads (and stomachs) at film festivals all over. Keep your eye for this one and on the director/writer Torin Langen. That kid is going places, I tell ya.
Check out the trailer for “Fondue”