The scant two-minute trailer for Tony Krawitz’s “Dead Europe” (premiering in Toronto this Friday) leaves one with the hungover sensation of having undergone a minor bludgeoning. Or at least a very grim full length film.
We learn in voiceover that the bearded, shaggy fellow on screen, a photographer called Isaac (Ewen Leslie), has traveled from Australia to Greece to lay his father to rest. Unfortunately, he learns, dear old dad “apparently had some kind of curse.”
Having received this message from a strange ponytailed old man who approaches him at the edge of a cliff, Isaac appears to spiral toward chaos. He runs muddied and naked through cornfields and forest, and hears rather ominously from a young woman with reptilian blue eyes that, “When innocent blood is spilled, the hate attaches to the guilty.”
The innocent in question seems here to have been a boy who vanished under strange circumstances long ago, and whose disappearance very probably involved Isaac’s family.
Menacing strings give way to bruising drums. We see an empty-eyed doll and a goat’s butchered skull, violence in the streets. “I don’t trust what I say now,” Isaac pleads.
“Dead Europe” looks like a fascinating place to visit, but we certainly wouldn’t want to live there.
“Dead Europe” premieres at TIFF this Friday.