Written, directed and starring as herself, ‘I Blame Society’ follows Gillian Wallace Horvat as a struggling filmmaker hoping to get any of her scripts greenlit. However, after receiving a compliment about how she would make a good murderer, she sets out on filming how she’d actually commit a murder.
‘I Blame Society’ is an interesting concept and one that I was intrigued by. Taking inspiration from films like Netflix’s ‘Spree’ and 2006’s ‘Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon’, this type of synopsis is unique to the horror genre as it provides a perspective that is rarely seen: the perspective of the slasher. The film’s layout is also reminiscent of a behind the scenes feature, an aspect that I enjoyed. It added a sense of realism to a horrifying scenario. Furthermore, the extra layer of realism is added to this film specifically when I discovered that the lead actors were actually playing exaggerated versions of themselves.
However, ideas and execution of those ideas are what makes each film stand out from each other and is what makes or breaks them. Unfortunately, ‘I Blame Society’ belongs to the latter group.
While the plot is intriguing, ultimately the pacing and lead character let it down. Gillian plays a psychopathic version of herself, allowing her obsession to commit a murder of her own be under the disguise of her filming a slasher film that must be perfect. However, her awful personality can’t be ignored. And, while her lack of empathy is deliberate as to make the audience realize how she gained the ‘good murderer’ compliment, it was still frustrating to watch.
The film even shows her scripts getting rejected due to her films having unlikable characters, considering that she herself is unlikable right from the opening scene. The film would’ve worked better if Gillian had started out as a nice and caring person then been given the compliment that ignites her downward spiral. However, ‘I Blame Society’ gives us an arrogant, condescending and manipulative lead from the start and expects viewers to be ok with that.
‘I Blame Society’ is also extremely slow paced. While that type of pacing works for some horror films, it really doesn’t work here, and a lot of interactions could’ve been cut. The biggest aspect that should’ve been removed was the side plot revolving around Gillian meeting up with two distributors, only to find out that they want to mould her into something that she isn’t. This plotline was clear in its message: women are overshadowed by men in the horror film industry and it’s frustrating to see females struggle in this industry.
It’s an issue that still occurs today and something that I have even faced on a smaller scale, so I understood her frustrations. However, this could have been separated from the actual murderer plotline as a spin-off or sequel. While it is an important aspect to have, it felt out of place in this film and made the already slow pacing uneven.
Overall, ‘I Blame Society’ is an example of a good idea with bad execution, which is a shame. The plot is fantastic and intriguing, but the execution needs to be just as good to keep me watching. Unfortunately, it was let down by slow pacing and a lead character who was extremely insufferable to watch. And while this may have been a deliberate decision, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that viewers have to spend nearly 90 minutes with her as she stubbornly carries the film along. Whilst the film may blame society, I blame this film for wasting my time.
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