Show Pieces (2014) Review Film 4 FrightFest Day 3

While part of going to a horror film festival is experiencing the length and breadth of professional, semi-professional and unprofessional works, there are some films you want to watch with the promise of being in safe creative hands right from the start.

It was this assurance more than anything that brought me to see Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins’ ‘Show Pieces’.

Upfront, you knew that it was going to be a piece that demanded more of you as a viewer thanks to Moore’s writing, but that the investment in your consideration and time would be rewarded; unlike most horror films, there would be a point to what you would be watching.

That said, I was also mindful of how a novice viewer coming to the piece cold (and without the familiarity of Moore’s works and themes) might take it.

There are three sections of the film but the main spine is about the arrival in purgatory of two people and their interactions with the people they encounter, leading to one’s final judgment about whether he will enter heaven or hell.

The whole experience is framed through the backdrop of a working men’s club and it’s this setting that allows Show Pieces to show off some absolutely beautiful production design, lighting and performances. Out of all the film’s I’ve seen so far at the FrightFest, Show Pieces was gorgeous to look at and seems to have been constructed with genuine love and craftsmanship from all of the crew.

The piece is in part a meditation on entertainment culture and opiate and the extent to which it skews human values while we’re alive and about the consequences of living by these standards or ‘moral cholesterol’ as the film puts it. Shades of Twilight Zone and even A Christmas Carol came to mind when watching it.

It’s a film that demands multiple viewings and I’m glad a DVD release is pegged for Halloween this year complete with bonus material.

Certainly a work for Moore fans but by no means exclusively for them, Show Pieces is an imaginative work that demands your attention throughout and is sure to reward repeated viewings.


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