One of the most popular low budget areas of the horror genre is unquestionably a plot which revolves around one person taking another ‘captive’. The premise is simply. Two people in a confined space. One has power over another, but this dynamic is not necessarily set in stone. In recent times, there’s been a new wave of ‘captivity’ horrors which have inverted and subverted genre norms. Nicolas Pesce’s feature debut, The Eyes of My Mother, was a wonderful piece of instinctive film-making. He has followed it up with Piercing. A freaky and wild ride.
Reed (Christopher Abbott) is a seemingly average family man, but as he kisses his wife and child goodbye, he’s not off on a business trip. While Reed is checking into his hotel he’s not thinking about his next meeting. No, he’s dreaming of committing the perfect murder. However, the call girl (Mia Wasikowska) chosen to be his victim this evening turns out to be far from helpless. She’s not the sweet, placid and amenable escort he expected.
Based on a novel by Ryū Murakami, the author of Audition, Piercing is as strange and brutal as you’d expect. It’s the story of two broken people and the twisted and unlikely relationship between them. Pesce floods his film with ‘70s neon splendour, liberally sprinkling a touch of De Palma on his sophomore outing. It’s a smart and sassy battle of wits. One which perhaps takes one twist too many but it’s fun along the way.
Piercing is out in cinemas from 15 February.