Morbidly Beautiful

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Fans of extreme horror will likely want to check out “Breeder”, a nasty but well-made, well-acted, and compelling film out of Denmark.

Aging isn’t the disease, humanity is.

I’ll be honest, I’m not all that into foreign horror. It’s not necessarily a matter of taste for me so much as convenience. Nevertheless, I have resolved to broaden my horizons. So, I decided to branch out with this dark little number from Denmark called Breeder (2020).

Breeder has a fun, if familiar premise:

A medical corporation (instantly scoring millions of points on the evil scale just for existing) is up to no good, throwing all their Hippocratic-oathiness out the window in favor of profits which they plan on raking in once they’ve perfected their anti-aging drug.

This, of course, involves kidnapping women and subjecting them and their infants to illegal research (you can just see those shareholders twirling their mustaches).

Enter “Mia” (Sara Hjort Ditlevsen), the lovely but unfortunate protagonist who is definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Poor thing. Let’s not beat around the bush: This is not the movie you want to be in if you’re an attractive female or if you have an aversion to torture.

Her boyfriend (Anders Heinrichsen) comes to rescue her from said torture, but not before she gets literally branded by his employers. Oh yeah, he happens to work for the evil corporation; that’s likely to put a strain on their relationship. Also, he sucks at rescuing.

To keep the action moving along, we meet other kidnapped women, none of whom are faring any better than our heroine.

There is almost an element of comedy in the fact that the torturers/murderers in the corporation’s employ are so nonchalant about their nefarious deeds.

While they manage a little anger from time to time, they’re mostly ambivalent throughout the proceedings.

The aforementioned boyfriend seems at first like he’s going to rescue the protagonist, but he never gets any better at rescuing, so the baddies kick his ass and recapture the heroine. Lé sigh. Maybe she’ll band together with her fellow captives and rescue him or something.

Even though the heroine is a piece of horror meat used for sexploitation, she is also given a bit of personality, such as when she uses basic psychology to try and talk some sense into her torturer. This makes what she goes through somewhat more horrific, including a disturbing ultrasound scene.

The writers humanize her just enough that you almost forget about the pointless masochistic spur (yes, riding spur) masturbation sequence the filmmakers use to help us really get to know her. Almost.

While I am certain there was much lost in translation, there was enough good acting and decent production value to keep my interest throughout; and, oh yes, spurs.

There were a lot of familiar tropes, and they were definitely going for an Eli Roth vibe.

But, there were also some solid performances and enough gory FX to kick it up a few notches.

Hats off to the sound designers as well who really did a fantastic job with all those blood-soaked snaps, crackles, and pops.

During the film, the central question becomes: If people who are initially brutalized are able to turn the tables on their attackers, should they take an eye for an eye? I hope no one I know ever has to ask themselves that question.

But the even bigger question was buried under the action and horror and couched in a villain with whom it was difficult to relate.

That question is, in the search for eternal youth, what sorts of sacrifices will we be willing to make?

Nah, the real question is, how hot is it to watch a young Dane masturbate with a spur?

Check it out. You will develop a new appreciation for spurs.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3
You can watch Breeder now on Prime Video, or for free on Tubi with ads. 

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