When “A Siberian Film” hit the scene and took the world by storm, I didn’t get swept up in the mild hysteria surrounding the film and never really got around to watching it. Personally, that’s just not the kind of movie I actively seek out to watch. So when “Trauma” came across my desk I braced myself for the worst.
In “Trauma” four women set out for a weekend of rest and relaxation in the Chilean countryside. Unfortunately, their weekend outing is cut short by the arrival of a pair of deranged men who send their lives spiraling out of control.
So I’m gonna be blunt about the narrative of this film, because it involves a subject that I know a lot of people struggle with. This movie features a lot of rape. If that’s the type of thing to completely turn you off from a movie, then I highly recommend avoiding “Trauma” as it features quite a few scenes of rape in a variety of circumstances including incest and a scene involving a baby.
Now here’s the trick, does the movie justify having all of these horrific scenes? Unfortunately, not really. As the name of the movie implies, “Trauma” is about the long lasting effects of traumatic events. The movie kicks things off with an incredibly disturbing display of depravity that is supposed to give you insight into the villain’s backstory. And as the film goes on they continue to show snippets of his past life to let you know that this guy was forced to commit some heinous acts. And while all of that gives you context for his current actions, it’s all just surface level stuff. It doesn’t offer up any unique perspective on trauma or the psychology of victims, it’s just an avenue to showcase some fucked up ideas.
What would help balance this out is if the movie had characters that were worth caring about and, unfortunately, it doesn’t give us that either. After a quick intro to the four girls (and a lengthy sex scene) we get to the countryside where we learn some basic things about them. Just enough to get a sense of who they are, but not enough to fully flesh them out.
Another problem is that the characters we’re given are among the stupidest people in the world. It’s amazing that they somehow all lived long enough to become adults. For example, the second time they encounter the deranged old man they spot him spying on them through a window while one of the girls is putting on a striptease. So naturally one of them suggests that he must need something important, so they should let him in. What the hell?
The bad decisions aren’t limited to the women either. The local police play a small role in the movie and they certainly have plenty of dumb ideas to offer up and are eager to show off how incompetent they are at using guns.
Ultimately, “Trauma” has an incredible amount of shock value to offer and some extremely gruesome ideas, but this movie is the definition of torture porn. With a weak plot and even weaker characters, the main reason to watch this film is to see how much disturbing content you’re able to stomach.
“Trauma” is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
I could only find the red band trailer, so don’t watch it at work.