Horror Movie Review: Thanatomorphose (2012)
Written and directed by Éric Falardeau, Thanatomorphose is body horror movie that stars Kayden Rose, Émile Beaudry, Eryka Cantieri, and Roch-Denis Gagnon.
Be warned, Thanatomorphose is not for the faint-hearted. One of the most gruesome and graphic horrors in the last couple of decades. Thanatomorphose is a Hellenic word meaning the visible signs of an organism’s decomposition caused by death. A fate that befalls Laura (Kayden Rose), a young woman who appears to be suffering from depression.
Going through the motions with her abusive boyfriend Antoine (Davyd Tousignant), in her work life, and with her friends. That is until she steps on a sharp nail on the floor, the first injury she suffers in front of our eyes, but far from the last. Over the course of the movie’s 100-minute runtime, Laura’s body will slowly rot, and we will see it all in its extremeness.
Putting it as bluntly as possible, this is not for everyone. Thanatomorphose wants to sicken you and for many, it will achieve that goal. The gritty and grubby look of the film, mixed with the horror of slow living decomposition, makes for a grim experience. On that aspect Thanatomorphose deserves a lot of praise. Its gore effects are extremely well-done.
Unfortunately, that’s about all it does well. There’s not much of a story here and the ‘how and why’ of Laura’s decomposition is never explored. There was some interest in a more metaphorical concept that matched her outward rot to her inward rot as an allegory for depression. However, as the movie reaches its final stages, it becomes clear that isn’t the case.
It would have been interesting if it had, especially as lead actor Kayden Rose puts in a solid performance. Her ambivalence and lack of emotion makes it hard to root for Laura, until you remember that she is suffering from depression. At least until it doesn’t matter and Thanatomorphose just wants to see if it can make you vomit.
Don’t be surprised if you find your stomach turning many times while watching this. It’s one of the most graphic body horrors in the modern age. So it’s a real pity that it doesn’t have much else going for it.
The Final Score - 5/10