Directed by Joel Schumacher
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix,
James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald
My advice: Rent it but watch it alone. It's disturbing
Rating: out of
I'm going to warn you right now, if you're planning on running
out to rent this, you better have a strong stomach, an easily controlled sense of revulsion, and the ability to
tread in dark waters for extended periods of time without succumbing to the desire to switch this movie off.
8mm is unpleasant to watch. It deals with some of the darkest
and most deviant of life that this world has to offer. Nasty and immoral, unspeakable and unbelievable. It's a
harsh film to behold.
Now, before you get me wrong, this doesn't mean I hated it.
I didn't. The muted horrors of this movie held me fascinated. I just want to make it clear that this is an emotion
inducing film. We all know by now I am a huge Cage fan and I think as an actor he is unparalleled in his craft.
In 8mm, he takes on the role of private detective, Tom Welles. Welles is hired by an elderly matriarch after her
husband dies. She has found in his possession a "snuff film" and she needs to know if this film is genuine
or just a fake. It's Tom's job to establish who the young woman in the movie is and if she is, indeed, dead or
The whole premise of this film is morbid but the beauty of this
is watching an average, God fearing man taken to a level he cannot begin to understand. So disturbed is he by his
surroundings as he seeks the truth he appears almost physically ill in each and every frame.
As he pursues an answer he leaves his family behind and hires
on, as a freelancer I suppose, a young porn dealer named Max (Phoenix), who has the knowledge and the connection
to help him move as deeply into the pornographic underworld as possible. The deeper he goes the more disgusted
Cage is, as always, a phenomenon. The disturbing quality of
the piece makes him even more of a pleasure to watch. He is tormented and withdrawn, desperately reserved but shaking
on the moral edge of self combustion. And when he combusts, it's a beauty to behold.
Again, fair warning. This is a dark, dark film. Watch this only
if you're sure you can hold on until the very end because without the end of this film, you have nothing.