Constantly on the hunt and suffering from hallucinations that drive his violent nature, an unnamed man is capturing women and savagely beating them to death. Meanwhile, a woman is luring men into a violent end, by way of her knife. Driven by the same force to make the opposite sex suffer, the killers’ fates intertwine. The two must face off in a battle to the death, in which they are forced to reveal the horrible truth behind their addiction to murder. Brutal takes an interesting approach to its visuals, drawing heavy influence from Western Grindhouse films, using a filter to make the footage appear grainy, damaged, and with light and color fluctuations. Unfortunately, the visual styling ends up feeling misguided, as other than applying the filter it does not imitate any other aspects of the Grindhouse genre. Despite trying to dirty up the film, it is apparent it was shot on digital. The cinematography is also a step above most Grindhouse productions, with Takashi Hirose proving he has talent behind the camera. Exterior shots to those taking place in small spaces are all competently framed, lit, and transition well. The decision to add an effect on top of the work hurts the film’s imagery and even gives a sense of desperation to try to capture a certain type of nostalgia with the audience, instead of relying on its own strengths. It is unfortunate when one creative choice can hurt a production so much. The story of Brutal is simple but effective, it does attempt some sort of social commentary about the violent nature of men and women, but it does not offer enough depth into the subject to justify the amount of violence on display. The film does end on a strong note with an interesting twist, with a reveal that is bound to gross some out, while giving others a chuckle. In spite of its simple nature, those who enjoy films that make them somewhat uncomfortable and enjoy the challenge of getting through some ultra-violence, Brutal poses a fun and entertaining challenge in that regard.
Scarlet forms an instant bond with a girl named Dylan at a wilderness camp for troubled youth. Tormented by memories of her deceased mother, Scarlet believes she has finally found someone with whom she can share her family secrets. However, as she opens up, an unexpected twist of events unfolds and the new friendship is soon devastated by betrayal.
Every year hundreds of baby grizzlies are abandoned when their mothers are disturbed at their dens. The Pazhetnovs have been rescuing orphaned cubs for nearly three decades and have successfully returned over 200 of them back to the wild. Gordon Buchanan joins the Pazhetnovs, a pioneering family of biologists in snowy Russia as they attempt to rehab grizzly bear cub orphans.