LFF 2019 REVIEW – THE ANTENNA (2019)
Director: Orcun Behram
Writer: Orcun Behram
Cast: Ihsan Onal, Gül Arici, Elif Cakman, Murat Saglam
**********SPOILER FREE REVIEW**********
The London Film Festival is here once again and I have booked in to watch a number of big studio and independent films. Not as many as my wife, who is determined to break herself on the cinematic wheel.
It really is kid in a candy store time at the London Film Festival with all manner of films on show. The first I chose was a low budget Turkish film. It’s a psychological and socio-political horror film called The Antenna (2019).
As we follow the lowly security guard, Mehmet (Ihsan Onal), and various families on the council estate, all manner of weird things start to occur when a new Satellite dish is installed. The slow pace, sharp camera angles, creepy imagery and haunting sound all combine to create an under-the-skin paranoia and fear.
Clearly the Turkish filmmaker, Orcun Behram, is a very talented director who has been learning from the best, notably David Cronenberg and David Lynch. His surreal, dystopian vision of an oppressed tower block in an unnamed state becomes an allegorical critique of Government and media control.
I was really gripped by the film, but once you get the powerful and horrific message the filmmaker is making, The Antenna (2019) feels too long. The sinister pace worked at the beginning but as the film progressed it felt draining. Indeed, while the incredible visuals and soundscape serve the message impressively, it arguably needed to be trimmed for pace to make the horror on show even more powerful.