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D@bbe

Turkey 2006
produced by
Kaan Girgin, Hasan Karacadag, Ali Kaygisiz, Yasemin Özdamar (executive) for J Plan, 24 Kare Prodüksiyon, Özen Film
directed by Hasan Karacadag
starring Ebru Aykac, Ümit Acar, Serdar Özer, Serhat Yigit, Zeynep Hasdal Colakoglu, Süha Tok, Murat Sevis, Kaan Girgin, Fulya Candemir, Sabri Tekinalp
written by Hasan Karacadag, music by Olay Andac, Türkay Türkmen, special effects by Minco, Cihat Parlak

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Flix.com

Tarik has killed himself in a particularly gruesome way: he has rammed a blade through his throat ... and when his friend Hande was at his place too. This and the fact that he has started to act very weirdly before his death causes police inspector Süleyman of Homicide to investigate the death, even though everything points to a suicide - womething which the inspector has some experience with since his wife had killed herself too.

Hande meanwhile makes some investigations of her own, revolving around a video Tarik has taken of himself with her camcorder - and which clearly shows he was haunted by something ... and eventually the video even shows a monster of sorts. Then emails start coming from dead Tarik's account, saying something like 388@0 and Are you ready to inside-out the world - which doesn't seem to make any sense ... until Hande and inspector Süleyman compare notes and see the death of Tarik in a bigger context: that of an epidemic of suicides hitting not only the country but the whole world. And eventually - after another of Hande's friends died in a freak suicide, of all people it's a madman who realizes how it all fits together: When viewed in a mirror, 388@0 comes out as Dabbe, some apocalyptical beings from the Koran, and Are you ready to inside-out the world is a verse from the Koran that points to the end of the world as well - and suddenly it makes sense (?), the Dabbe, mythological beings who live in mirrors, want to run over the world with the help of demons, or the dead, or something. Süleyman and Hande want to stop the end of the world, but instead they are stopped cold in their efforts ...

 

While based on Islamic mythology, the film quite obviously borrows from recent Japanese horror films like Suicide Club (the basic subject) and especially Kairo/Pulse (much of D@bbe's narrative devices, shock moments and atmosphere) - which of course are not the worst sources to borrow from. Unfortunately, borrowing from other good films does not make the film good itself: While D@bbe has an interesting premise, is rich on atmosphere and does deliver some effective shocks, the film as a whole is rather bloodless - it simply lacks fleshed-out characters, which means the audience can't really care for anyone, also some characters seem to enter or leave the picture rather at will, some of the monster effects - while perfectly done on a technical level - simply seem ridiculous in the context of the story, and the narrative as a whole lacks stringency and suspense.

What remains is a technically well-done but totally bland little shocker - which is a shame considering the director's obvious talent (as a director, obviously, not a screenwriter).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD