|Richard Brzostek - 12/29/2008
"Billboard" is a film that will leave a lasting impression on you. After I first watched it, I was a little sick to my stomach for a few days. Perhaps I was a bit innocent or naive, but I didn't expect the film to be so terrifying. The film is about a man named Kuba (as played by Rafal Mackowiak, who also stars in "Louder than Bombs" and "Gniew") who inadvertently gets tangled into the world of "snuff films" when he accidentally gets hold of the wrong video tape.
For those that don't know, "snuff films" are home made films of people being tortured and murdered - leaving its screaming star dead. Obviously, these films are illegal as they are just videotaped murders. I was chilled at the thought that these things do happen. It was not a horror film with some strange fictitious monster or killer, but the fact that this could happen made the film more frightening.
As Kuba gets deeper and deeper into the missing woman who was murdered (the one on the tape), it only gets more frightening. We see Kuba watching the film of the torture/murder and I found everything so realistic that it quickened my pulse and left me feeling disgusted. I had to lower the volume when it showed the woman screaming as it just got to be too much for me. Eventually, I had to lower the volume all the way off as I couldn't stand listening to it anymore.
If a thriller is supposed to make you scared or feel the effects of adrenaline, "Billboard" definitely achieves this result. I would also call this film a "horror" as it was a little gruesome (but the worst part was the screaming). I normally do not watch "horror" films and have not watched many in my lifetime, so perhaps I am being sensitive. At any rate, this film is not for the weak of heart.
I don't think it is possible for a film to be more of a "thriller" than "Billboard." The film made me appreciate life itself and shudder at the possibility of inhumane cruelty some find pleasurable. "Billboard" is a Polish film, 97 minutes in length with English subtitles directed by Lukasz Zadrzynski.
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