SUICIDE CLUB *** U.K. 2017 Dir: Maximilian Von Vier 90 mins
Due to some very traumatising personal issues, Eliza Banning (Klariza Clayton) has become agoraphobic and locked herself in her flat. She divides her days up by spying on/ stalking the other people in her apartment block by use of her trusty binoculars and talking to people online be it in forums or dating sites. Struggling with her feelings of inadequacies and uselessness she turns to various suicide forums to try and end her turmoil. Failing to do the deed at hand she desperately trawls through the dark web and discovers the Suicide Club. An elite club that says it can aide people in finally ending it all and boasts an impressive array of live videos of people committing suicide. As she delves further into it she comes to wonder if these are real suicides or if there are more sinister forces at work?
Matters are complicated as almost as soon as she joins the suicide club she gets in contact with a new guy to her block on a dating site and finds a reason to live. I thought the acting throughout this film was incredibly compelling and I instantly got invested in Eliza’s well being and state of mind. This covers some deep emotional issues sympathetically yet without sugar coating the darker aspects of vulnerability and suicide. There are however some rather obvious giveaways in the plot and execution that I could easily poke holes in if I was to be picky. The only way I can justify these as I see them is that if things weren’t pointed out quickly then the film would end up inevitably dragging on and lose its momentum where as this way it is kept fairly well paced if a little obvious. It has a great effective but sparse score interspersed with tracks from Grime/Hip Hop producer MistaKay amongst others. Shot largely from inside a dark, gloomy apartment room boasting some pretty cool artwork which gives it a great sense of loss and despair where needed. More realistic with its violence there isn’t that much of it, some is shown with fleeting glimpses or off screen (apart from some of the suicides) but it is effective and mostly done well. It has a small but proficient cast and I found it interesting as well as engaging with only a couple of bits that let it down in places.
Review by Sarah Budd