Dust Box is the latest release from Ronny Carlsson and Film Bizarro Productions. If you are familiar with the website, Film Bizarro this may be a film you would expect from Ronny. The site seems to specialize in obscure, artistic and very thought provoking films. Those are three characteristics that this film has. The plot of this film revolves around central character Alma, (played by the beautifully stunning Mariah Kanninen) who we learn early in this film wants so desperately to be a mother. With this obsession comes her losing all grasp on reality and her sanity. Dust Box is broken down into chapters, and each chapter all revolves around Alma and her descent into almost an obscure madness.
The dialogue in this film was interesting. Until the 18 minute mark of the film you never heard the characters speak, but everything around them you could hear perfectly. In this film, when the characters do get some dialogue, they are pretty much to the point, and almost haunting in the things they say. For example, a scene much later in the film that involves Alma talking to her doctor about eating metal, and forcing herself to swallow it and wonders if that could cause a miscarriage. What really made the dialogue in this film matter so much was the delivery of the characters. If anything else, this film felt almost poetic in terms of what Ronny achieved with the camera angles and facial expressions that the dialogue seemed like it was not needed. He put this film to an interesting sound mix of music that range from haunting to almost pop, which was really creative. It was like in his mind, the scenes were talking to him about what to add to it.
There are quite a few scenes in this film that stuck with me long after the film ended, and I felt the “looking glass” scene was spectacular. You see this couple having a conversation thru a window, and you feel like you are a voyeur into their world, and the music that was chosen for that scene, was really so well thought out and added so much to it. If anything else, scenes and also films like this are not effective in the middle of the day with your cell phone ringing and you being distracted. You have to watch this with all the lights off and attention completely on screen to get the full effect, or do like I did, I put headphones on my laptop and it really made the scenes and film so much more haunting.
This film shifts not only in musical tastes, but also from black & white to color. This film is more of a trip than a destination, each scene you do not know where it will lead to, and that is what I loved the most about Dust Box is that like true art house films, you just sit back and see where it takes you, and try to follow. Another plus to this film is you had an actress, who was willing to do almost anything to sell a scene or bring a mood or feel to the scene. Whether it is laying naked in the middle of the field, to absolutely making us believe she has lost her grasp of reality.
I will give Ronny and the crew all the credit in the world, the film is original, creative and very ambitious. While not a perfect film, it was a good film. Will most audiences want to watch this film? I think this film could play better to college art students who want to have a career in film; this film could be like their notebook at what you can accomplish with the most simple of things like music, and just a keen eye for a great shot. I am not sure if the typical horror fan can have the patience for a film like this. While this film does not offer you a lot in terms of action and horror, it offers you a lot of things to really think about, and to watch a character who on the surface seems to be just your ordinary woman, start to sink into this mental abyss. This film seems like a message about mental illness that is just hidden in a artistic and poetic little world.
If you are a fan of the art house, and would like to see the pulse of what may be coming next from the underground, this may be a film that you will like. I think the film is smart, creative and very unique. But, fuck was this movie just plain odd. This is truly a film I would expect from Film Bizarro.
7.5 out of 10