Editor’s note: While there aren’t too many spoilers, some of the talk about the finale might imply an idea of what happens. You’ve been warned.
Yet to hit the IMDB of this writing is Kongkiat Komesiri’s (Art of the Devil 2, 3) thriller Slice, a new film from the Philippines that picked up some serious buzz at the AFM this past week. Why so much talk? The film carries a finale that literally will have any viewer exclaiming “holy f*cking sh*t.”
In Slice, which could be filed along the lines of David Fincher’s Se7en, after the police are baffled for clues as to male victims turning up sliced and dead, they are hard pressed for results as the latest victim happens to be a son of a politician. Their last resort is to hire an ex-hitman named Tai (Arak Amornsupasiri), for his expertise in the field of hunting down a killer – and because he believes the killer is someone he grew up with.
Penned by Wisit Sasanatieng (Citizen Dog), what makes Slice work is the heavy character development that brings the finale to en epic conclusion. The killer has an MO that catches Tai’s attention – he cuts off the genitalia of his victims and then stuffs their cut up bodies into a red suitcase. In addition, the killer is leaving clues that all connect to Tai’s past relationship with him. Is the killer speaking directly to Tai? While Tai heads down memory lane and connects with his friend’s from his old village, the viewer is treated to flashbacks of the Tai and his killer friend growing up. While Tai want to be his friend, the kids in the village torment this youngin and make Tai beat him up. All this kid wants is Tai’s friendship and all Tai can do is think about himself. This poor kid is tortured, raped, and even sold into slavery before vanishing from Tai’s life. The depth of these characterizations are incredible and quite engaging. More importantly is the impact of all of these flashbacks as they play a major role in the pic’s final moments, a revelation that is guaranteed to have you doing a triple take (yup, forget doing a double take).
While from a technical standpoint Slice isn’t that well shot or edited, the story more than makes up for it. Imagine if Oldboy wasn’t made by the genius Park Chan-wook, that’s a taste of what you’ll find in Slice. The finale is so off the hook, so insane, and so despicable that some viewers might result to gagging.
Even though Slice isn’t that gory, there are some incredibly violent sequences that range from a strip club massacre to a gent getting stabbed over and over in a bathtub. But that’s what makes Slice special; it doesn’t try and push any boundaries it doesn’t have to. When it’s violent, it’s violent, and when it’s heartwarming, it’s heartwarming. Just trust in Komesiri’s vision because those who stick with him will be rewarded by the time the credits hit.