When it comes to extreme cinema, there is an abundance of films that all offer the same thing; rape, torture and horrific violence. As a fan of the genre, there is no way I cannot say this is what I’m often searching for, but after seeing so many films it’s become more and more apparent that the need for extreme horror with something to make me think is important. Phil Stevens has inadvertently taken that need and transformed it into the beautiful yet disturbing Flowers.
Most films are focused on the ending, with a slow build up that doesn’t deliver nearly enough in terms of gore and imagery, but Flowers is about the bleak journey we’re taken on while following a series of different women as they fall into a melancholy realisation of what their life really is. In the opening we see one woman fight her way from an underground basement, through crawl spaces drenched in what can only be described as a morbid concoction of visceral, excrement and otherworldly liquids…
She is only one of many flowers, and we follow other women credited as flowers as they drag themselves through a distressing representation of purgatory until they reach their final version of Hell on Earth. As each women follows a disturbing path, they become more conscious to the signs of their past life that serve as an indication as to where they really are and what awaits them at the end of this journey. Flowers does not rejoice in the use of dialogue and relies completely on visuals and artistry, but this aspect is what makes the film such a powerful and beautiful display of aesthetics.
Stevens has a keen knowledge for special effects and delivering the fans of extreme cinema with props, gore and bodily disgusts which breathe life into corpses. Many extreme films are heavily reliant upon the effects within their film yet do not commit to focusing funds into this, and therefore remove the substance of realism and leave the audience seeing through the magic of special effects. Flowers perfectly demonstrates how to give that gut-wrenching and grimacing feeling to the viewer with bones, decay and discarded internals filtered throughout every scene.
Without delving into too much detail, and leaving the depraved journey for you to discover, there is one scene that should be noted; an autopsy that happens within the film left me reeling at not only the sheer brutality but the representation and how it felt almost like I were baring witness to a snuff reel.
Flowers really is a piece of art that will both flourish and destroy your soul. If you’re looking for one of the most up and coming directors in the extreme horror film world, then you’ve just stumbled upon him because Phil Stevens knows how to delight and disgust.
You can also grab a copy of this over at the only place for underground cinema – Unearthed Films.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
There is one looming problem though… Flowers 2 is on the horizon, but funding needs to happen for this nightmare to reoccur. If you’re a supporter of extreme cinema then I would urge you to back this one and make the reality happen. Not only are there some incredible perks including badass t-shirts, signed collector DVDs, props made by Marcus Koch and commissioned art pieces by Stevens himself – you’ll also join an exclusive backers Facebook group. Find out more now and make sure you share with everyone you know!