A seemingly innocent double booking forces two couples from different backgrounds to share a London apartment for the evening. A night of drink, drugs, sex and new experiences follows. However, as morning comes, events take a sinister turn. Everything has a price and not all debts are paid for with money. What would you do to survive? Leaving; it’s harder that you think.
Exit is a surreal erotic horror film that has just had its American premiere at the South Texas Underground Film festival. It is directed by Michael Fausti, written by Matthew Bayliss and Michael Fausti, and produced by Fausti, Bayliss, and Louise Nosbod. Exit also stars the talents of Leonarda Sahani as Michelle, Christophe Delesques as Christophe, Charlotte Gould as Adrienne, Billy James Machin as Steve, and Tony Denham as Russel Bone.
Michael Fausti is one to watch. He has the ability to weave together controversial narratives coupled with a very unique aesthetic. His films aren’t necessarily of the highest production value or bragging the biggest of budgets, but they captivate nonetheless. Why? Because he dares to be experimental; unafraid of pushing the envelope and eager to cross boundaries.
I’ve had the pleasure of viewing two of Fausti’s previous short films: Dead Celebrities and The Ingress Tapes. While I thoroughly enjoyed the former, the latter was a little too simple for my taste. What I did take away from those two shorts was a very unique art style that returns for Fausti’s feature-length film, Exit.
It is difficult to pin down exactly where Exit would fit in genre-wise. There’s a bit of mystery, a lot of eroticism, and a healthy stab of disappointing human nature. While we are treated to a bit of gore and murder, there is little of what would traditionally be considered classical horror themes and screams, with Exit instead treating us to the darker sides of sex, seduction, and swinging.
I did enjoy the constant jabs at IMPOTUS, the Tangerine Tornado, which were many and hilariously conspicuous. The cast of degenerate delinquents also works quite well, with a handful of characters that one can easily love to hate. While the plot is simple enough to follow, there were a few “what?” moments that definitely left me with my head tilted to the side.
I mentioned earlier that I found the film experimental, with Fausti often pushing the envelope. With Exit, Fausti decided to play a lot with the lighting, the score, the editing…there’s a finger in every pie. With the lighting we get stark, strong colours–different rooms signifying different moods and emotions. The score is very industrial at times and the filters or effects applied to the editing make the film dark and grainy, like watching a movie in a hotel room in the 90’s. Whether the heavy editing is a stylistic choice or an attempt to draw eyes away from the lower budget, I do not know. I found the intro a little too intense and the post-production effects a bit on the heavy side…like it was wearing a little too much makeup. It is, however, an aesthetic unique to Fausti and one I rather enjoy.
Exit is, without a doubt, a good film. It’s different enough to be memorable with well developed characters and solid writing. It’s sexy, gritty, and gory. Sure, I may not have loved parts, but it works well as a whole. Fausti knows the indie audience and is becoming bolder with each title. I’m keen to see where he goes from here. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Poster and trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.