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Repressed: Review of "Porno"

Porno follows a group of employees for an old movie theater in a highly conservative Christian town that discover an old film canister in the basement of the theater after closing. As morbid curiosity wins out, the group watches the film, only to incidentally let loose a succubus.

Porno Review


Watching, and then reviewing, a movie titled Porno is awkward even for a horror movie reviewer...but, it was a film that we missed at Telluride Horror Show, so curiosity – as with our doomed cast – won out. The film plays out similarly to how you'd expect...a handful of gross-out/raunchy gags sprinkled throughout a horror comedy that builds in conservative repression into its narrative as the message to take home. And to that end, I thought there was more in the message than the content.


The gags get old and predictable within its own story, with the characters replaying the same circumstances on several occasions. It makes one look at their watch to get past the scene to get to more of the meat of the plot. The plot is interesting, as the succubus is rarely explored in a quality way, but the depth here obviously never leaves the kiddie pool because it was content swimming in the comedy world.


There's a bit too much of the repression subplot spoken out loud, cheapening the delivery with a hand-holding approach through very direct dialogue. Everyone speaks their mind through their stages of denial and acceptance, and it makes it feel like a play speaking to the audience rather than a genuine and natural exploration and evaluation of small-town conservative environments. Yet, the film covers a breadth of situations that emerge in these environments, and it's interesting in its own right to study.


The execution is effective, but leaves a little to be desired. This could certainly be personal preference, as raunchy is generally not my forte. I laughed and winced enough times to qualify the film as a good horror comedy, but nothing special, memorable, or outright recommendable. The personality of the film is on the surface the entire time, so you'll know if you're in pretty early on. Expect significant escalation in the gags, so know your viewing audience well.


This is not one of those features I was disappointed in myself to have taken forever to get to. It was something sitting on the backburner, and at the end of the day, it was suitably so for me. There's enough here for popcorn entertainment with a little bit of substance, but it's not going to dethrone any horror-comedy classics of recent memory.


Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10 Horror Quality: 6/10 Film Quality: 5/10


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