Working wonders on an impossibly low budget, Callous is a psychological horror movie written and directed by Iraqi author, A.H. Amin.
According to the director himself, the film cost a paltry $3000 and when you see where that money went you can’t help but be impressed. More like an art-house horror project, its success on the independent film festival circuit makes total sense.
The entirety of the movie takes place inside the head of a young woman who is in a coma. Inside her head, she enters nightmarish situation after nightmarish situation resulting in her ‘dying’ time each time. However, each death and subsequent new nightmare reveals more details to her. Just what is happening to her, why and if her coma is an accident or something that was planned.
At just 63 minutes long, Callous crams a lot of detail in. While also taking its time to build up tension and mystery. The dream-like state that the woman finds herself in reveals horrors that only the imagination could conjure up. So much of the imagery here is clever and creepy. A visual treat for those looking for sights to disturb.
It’s not the easiest film to follow though. The story looking to confuse with the plan to reveal all at the finale. It does that and does it really well, yet the baffling start will leave many a person so unbalanced and confused, they just out-right turn it off.
That would be a shame though as Callous is a genuine work of art. Even more so when you look at how little was spent on it. Even the cast, while limited hold their own. With only the occasional bit of dialogue and reaction appearing a bit wooden.
If you’re looking for a clever story wrapped up in a very strange visual style that is short enough to hold your attention then Callous is well worth a watch.
The Final Score - 7.5/10