The Butcher (2008) Review

1 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: Serena   

The Butcher is yet another hand-held horror film that is helmed by newcomer director, Kim Jin Won.  The film takes place in an old, abandoned slaughterhouse where a group of men have kidnapped a bunch of innocent people and torture them one by one on camera for highly successful Korean snuff films.

This new cinematic verite used in horror films such as Diary of the Dead, Rec, and Cloverfield is quite powerful and the films are always able to provide chilling scares within a cost-effective budget. It was only a matter of time before filmmakers would learn to exploit the handheld sub-genre and taint its image. The Butcher is that film.

I’m going to try to keep my review short and sweet, because I honestly have no interest into dissecting an incredibly repulsive and revolting film. I saw at least 5 people take off and leave the screening at the Fantasia Film Festival, the man beside me was snoring, and the end left everybody gasping…and not in the good way.

I’m giving The Butcher one skull purely for their attempt at trying something different in regards to hand-held horror. Instead of viewing the film from one video camera, the killers in the movie put video cameras on top of their victims’ heads so everyone can see the horror from the victim’s perspective. During the first half-hour, this proved to be quite effective for scares, because all you could hear were the chainsaws, the screams, and see hints of the bloody aftermath from the victim’s viewpoint. The film then takes a drastic turn and becomes a horrendous mess.

From then on in, the audience endures screams of desperation, rape, stabbings, and amputations that all look real. If I wanted to watch a simulated snuff film, I would have downloaded an August Underground movie. Anyone who says Eli Roth and Darren Bousman are sick and twisted filmmakers should shut up and check out The Butcher. You can’t get more torture porn than this. There was no entertainment value gained from this film whatsoever, and if I saw this film in anyone’s DVD collection, I would probably make a beeline for the front door and never look back.

The Butcher is a Korean horror movie that tries to be daring and provocative yet ended up being overly transparent with its attempt at creating shock value for the audience.  If watching people puke all over themselves, cry, urinate, and plead for their lives before getting brutally raped and murdered for a full 75 minutes interests you…be my guest. However, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
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