Rarely seen: PIG (2010)

After watching Adam Mason’s off-the-radar film – Pig, you’ll feel like you’ve been through just as much as an ordeal as the unfortunate victims in the film. Unless you are fan of Mason’s previous work (Broken, Luster, Blood River) or just a horror film fan in general, then Pig was a hard to find and was hidden from mainstream audiences.

Pig was released on-line in 2010 and after a little while searching for it I did eventually find it. Having heard a lot about the film, for me it was one of those films that you have to see and search for… and I have to say it was worth the wait.

A gruelling 80 odd minutes in the life of an absolute lunatic, such is the rampant display of cruelty and madness that it numbs you by about the forty minute mark and almost downright bores you for the next twenty minutes – a pretty sad indictment on me personally – and probably that was Mason’s intent, the banality of the torture boring you until the ante is upped and upped each moment trying to out do the last to satisfy the maniac’s blood lust or the audiences? Or for shock value? Some will dismiss the film as pointless, boring or that it goes nowhere, maybe they are right but what is undeniable is that the film sticks with you, whether you want it to or not. Watching Pig asks questions of you, the same way Irreversible or Martyrs does but in a totally different manner. However it could could all just be a ruse, a diversionary tactic to set you up for the twist at the end….and it stings. I won’t be spoiling the twist for anyone but suffice to say it is a gut punch and then some and considering what has gone before it, it certainly does cut to your core.

What is highly impressive from a technical point of view is that the majority of Pig is taken in one shot with no or tiny hidden edits. Given the effects used, the blood, the gore and everything else, this improv film was certainly planned out meticulously and it shows. I am sure there might be some hidden edits in there somewhere but regardless of if there is or isn’t, the effort remains and shows some real ingenuity.

The mostly (nearly all?) improv script is brought to life with a cracking performance from Andrew Howard. His maniac is white-hot rage wrapped up in intense, intelligent package and given what he had to do and for how long in this film, it is up there with some of the best acting I’ve seen (as unpleasant as the character is), his performance is such that you wonder how difficult it would have been to get out of that head space. Pig is not for the mainstream viewers but certainly one that will reward those who seek it out.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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