Discopath (2013)

Discopath

Succeeding more in it’s originality and genre based soundtrack, this film doesn’t tighten up all it’s narrative points and it’s also somehow a tad cheesy considering the subject of a murderous male gallivanting about the place. Look past the moments that don’t add up though and this is an interesting and odd warp of a horror.

After leaving his chef work, New Yorker Duane Lewis (Jeremie Earp) gets invited along to a disco night though it’s this funky beat of music that sets off the crazed murderer inside him and it isn’t long until he’s in a new country but still with this disco demon ready to jump out.

It’s a debut feature for director Renaud Gauthier and from this you can see he has an eye for taking on something others wouldn’t have even dreamed up. I do hope his next movie is the same type of deal, a mash-up of styles and one that plays heavily on the music to add atmosphere. The film may look like a VHS sleaze fest of 70’s/80’s times but it echoes to that period and the change in decades and setting is captured nicely. Gauthier is better handled to directing the kills than he is the bits in between, a murder on (under) the dance-floor and a dorm room slaying are two prime examples of neat horror directing.

Another cool moment comes in a strobe lighting sequence, but then this seems to be done more and more so it’s nothing overtly special, that and the fact that how in God’s green Earth did no-one else see this guy strangling the dancer!? The writing itself loses plot credentials, he has a knife just when he needs it, the character of the killer is so bland honestly and the attempt to give him the backstory motivation is naff. Also the American policeman just has an astounding connection from just the idea of music and then when he arrives in Canada he seems to know all there is about this guy though he hadn’t never been seen. If the film had tightened the screws on the story then it would have been much stronger.

The alluring sound of disco repeats throughout the movie and Bruce Cameron works a treat on the majority of the music side. It’s this hypnotic theme that works like a pacy signal to set Duane going. This specific track also works with the spinning of the disco lights, the records rotation in the college basement and apparently this sick twisting mind of Duane, it’s mixed well with the standard horror tropes of music to conjoin death scenes. Gauthier also crops up in the sound department for the main theme. As with all good horror scores it utilises on an unnerving piano baseline to kick things off. The theme is pulsating and lively to reflect the disco element but it hits with a horror bite especially near the end with siren bursts sounding electronic but harsh like screams of the victims almost. The you can’t kill me lyric is funnily ironic too but not nearly as funny as the pumping anthem from KISS which accompanies the ending part of the film.

Potential of something unique in this director can be found in this 2013 Canadian horror. The score is electric and backs the whole movie in a boogie boogeyman way, the characters and plot may lack a lot but it’s a film that fits the 70’s mantra of dirty, brooding and disco delight.

5.5/10

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