STOMACH **** Italy 2019 Dir: Alex Visani. 74 mins
If you are in any way squeamish or of a delicate mental composition then DO NOT watch this short but very crazed horror offering from Italy. If you ARE NOT, then you will really enjoy this feast (once you’ve adjusted to the subtitles of course!).
Stomach is a quite dreadful and disturbed film that is superbly written and directed by Alex Visani and it packs so much into it’s just over an hour of bloody mayhem and dark depravity that your heart and veins will pulse as you follow the story of tortured orphan Alex’s journey through revenge and betrayal by those around him who won’t believe in the hungry demon that is growing inside him and stoking his paranoid fears. The monster inside of him has an insatiable need to feed and free him from his perceived torment in the bloodiest and most violent ways imaginable. The demon is incredibly imaginative as a character and it’s voice will certainly freak you out.
It is easy to identify those who Alex hates as the targets as the well-constructed dialogue and action-fuelled dark metal score by Ivano Barbanera and Alessandro Borrini carry you along on an addictive trail of dark and demented frenzy and killing.
Alex (Fabio Carlani) is a sort of dark anti-hero mix of a character who comes across a little like Deadpool meets Daredevil while dressed as the King of Pop that works really well in a movie where I began to feel as though Michael Jackson’s own real fight with his own personal demons was a great ode and analogy to make to what is a really good film. Initially, Alex believes that he is unwell, but as the film pounds on he really begins to question his sanity and his own life as the dark power that grows within him begins to escape and feed and perhaps cure his strange nightmares in what becomes a torrent of bloody and violent action.
The special effects (and particularly the demon makeup) and close shots are excellent throughout and add some great darkness and intensity to this awesome little shocker from the house of Empire.
Next time YOU get a strange gut feeling about something, how will you react?
And at what cost will the achievement of dark desire come?
Review by Nathan Sandiford