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[Fantastic Fest Review]…The Antenna

Turkish dystopian horror film, The Antenna, really has a lot to offer up front. It’s a dark spin on the idea of big brother, and drapes a hyper-realism blanket over themes about privacy, and paranoid ideas about technology being our downfall. Really, though, it’s not paranoia. It is actually happening. And technology is tearing us apart when it’s soul purpose was to bring us together. This takes a turn without explanation or a road map. If that sounds good to you, then hop on in.

The film is beautifully shot even though it comes across incredibly bleak. Each scene and setting are expertly crafted and staged, and the entire shoot has a noteworthy economy to it. To amplify the fact that things are getting strange, the director uses clever visuals and you know something is important when the camera starts to move for the first time. 

Even at a snail’s pace, it takes the audience on dizzying ride. The influence of Carpenter and Cronenberg are very apparent with writing that is literally on the walls. It is very focused and pensive, and things never quite spiral into insane David Lynch territory.

The Antenna is a slow-burn to say the least, and the film falls apart in the third act which is unfortunate because it did a fine job of building truly great tension. Much of that is credited to the sound – both screeching metal, mumbled electronic whispers and dead silence – which hugely important to this film. It’s similar to what Peter Kyed and Peter Peter did with the score to Valhalla Rising

You will certainly scratch your head after seeing it this because the pieces don’t amount to much beyond slow-motion shock. Do we accept our doom? Who is out to get us? Can we fight it? How do we fight it? Are things given to help us really for our good? The film doesn’t answer that, but, really, what film can? Still, it seems like they could have tried.