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Black Hole (2010)
2/10
A poor interpretation of Burns's work.
28 April 2014
Rupert Sanders's short film proves that even the greatest source material can become drivel in the wrong hands. Black Hole is not a high-tension psychological thriller. It's a coming-of-age story with elements of body horror; it's Linklater tinged with Cronenberg. The mutations, while grotesque, are secondary to the character drama, and over the course of the story, they are viewed less as horrific spectacles and more as pitiable afflictions. Emphasizing the teens' mutations on screen with a creepy score and dark lighting has the opposite effect of Burns's illustrations. There's a reason Burns chose to display their mutations candidly, using brightly-lit yearbook photos throughout the book. The thing that makes the mutations so scary in the book is the fact that the kids quickly accept them as an inevitability rather than taking proper precautions. That's why making the source of the mutations an STD is such an effective metaphor. This film needs a director who understand that, at the very least.
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