Making Off (also known as Devil’s Weekend) is a 2012 French extreme found footage film, written and directed by Cédric Dupuis in his feature-length directorial debut. The film is presented as raw/behind-the-scenes footage of a low-budget found footage movie.
“Cédric Dupuis (Olivier Bureau), a fledgling independent filmmaker, has set out to create the most terrifying horror film of all time. But shooting without any budget to speak of and a cast of his friends, Cédric soon realises the frustration of indie film-making. The only way for Cédric to attain the realism he wants is to actually murder his cast on camera. This is his documentary of the events that unfolded during the making of his opus.”
Pushing the boundaries of the definition of extreme, Making Off is incredibly visceral in its depiction of violence–both physical and sexual. Indeed, the film holds little back in its visualisations as Cédric brutally slays his closest friends and proceeds to desecrate their corpses one by one (not even the cat can escape his throbbing lust for blood). So much so, that the featured violence borders on satirical at that point. The over-the-top nature of the extreme torture mixed with the vivid acts of necrophilia progressively become darkly comedic in tone (Making music out of your snuff video? Killer beat, bro). In fact, the laughter induced by certain acts certainly delivers a period of uncomfortable self-awareness.
However, that isn’t to say that this level of satire takes away from the shocking nature of these scenes. Making Off features an amazingly detailed level of special effects for the most part, along with the employment of static cinematography strengthening the sadistic nature of this violence. This creates a disturbing look into a broken mind while assisting in encompassing the found footage aesthetic, much to the film’s advantage.
On the contrary, towards the latter half of the film, certain scenes implemented numerous CGI-based effects, noticeably lacking compared to the previous instances of practical effects. Though this was likely due to budgetary restraints, the application of such effects is a noticeable downgrade that is difficult to overlook when presented on screen.
Although the whole cast gives an unadulterated performance throughout, feeling fully natural in their roles, the standout performance is delivered by our despicable director Cédric Dupuis (played by Olivier Bureau). The character forgoing sleep during a huge project and his loosening grip on reality is displayed as a genuine representation that any content creator can relate to as a horrifying self-reflection. Although, as this deterioration excels past that which a healthy person could associate with, Olivier goes above and beyond with his visual representation of this descent into madness. Hand movements become more erratic, his speech becomes faster and less coherent as well as a loss of emotion behind the eyes puts forth an uncomfortably realistic performance.
Making Off is available to pre-order from June 6th on Standard Blu-ray edition and in an Ultra limited edition numbered Mediabook + slipcover + 20pag booklet and is available via Tetro Video’s Website here.
Whether Cédric intended to compel the audience to contemplate an underlying message or just wanted to kick start his career with an incredibly graphic piece of cinema for shock value is up for debate, what is for certain is that this film will not be to everyone’s taste (and that’s understandable). But for those who can stomach its unrelenting nature, Making Off is masterfully executed and delivered in the perfect aesthetic to deliver a savage piece of extreme cinema.
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Hey there, I’m Jim and I’m located in London, UK. I am a Writer and Managing Director here at Grimoire of Horror. A lifelong love of horror and writing has led me down this rabbit hole, allowing me to meet many amazing people and experience some truly original artwork. I specialise in world cinema, manga/graphic novels, and video games but will sometime traverse into the unknown in search of adventure.