Whenever we get an anthology film nowadays, more often than not, it’s another tiresome collection of horror stories along the lines of the “V/H/S” and “The ABCs of Death” films, which makes it rather refreshing when a filmmaker tries the same method with a different genre, and even more so when it’s a film as well-done as Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales.” This is the kind of film where knowing very little about it works to the viewer’s advantage as surprise is the name of the game with this collection of six short stories that includes such bizarre tales as a case of road rage taken a bit too far, a father trying to cover up a terrible mistake committed by his son, and a wedding day that couldn’t get much worse. In fact, as each story unfolds, we’re forced to ask ourselves that very question: How could this get any worse for these characters?
The brilliance of Szifron’s stories lies in his ability to escalate what start off as somewhat mundane tales (a “coincidental” meeting on a plane, the everyday frustrations of driving, or your average wedding) into something that you don’t see coming or have it turn into an area that you would never imagine it would go. Therein lies the absolute delight that is “Wild Tales,” a mish-mash of revenge, hot-headed emotions, and desperation, all blended together in a film that combines multiple genres, such as drama, thrills, and a hefty dose of black comedy.
Indeed, it is this last element that ends up being its biggest asset as the absurdity of each story builds up, not only increasing how wildly entertaining they are, but also giving you bigger (and subsequently darker) laughs. I could go on, but this is really a film that simply needs to be experience by the viewer without knowing too much about it, for to know too many details might lead to a diminished impact. All you really need to know are that these are incredibly outrageous tales that will have you glued to the screen to see what could possibly happen to these unfortunate characters next. What more could you ask for from a little film like this?
“Wild Tales” comes to Blu-ray in a stunning 2.39:1, 1080p High Definition transfer that presents the film in perfect quality from the first frame to the last. Even in the more darkly-lit tales, there’s not a single problem to be seen. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is likewise flawless, presenting every element of the track in a loud and clear manner. Overall, the film has been given outstanding treatment that leaves absolutely no room for complaint.
Wild Shooting: Creating the Film: A fascinating featurette that includes interviews with the cast and crew, who discuss such topics as the stories, characters, and how the film came about. Definitely worth watching.
An Evening at the Toronto International Film Festival with Damian Szifron: A brief Q & A with Szifron that followed a screening of the film at TIFF. It’s not a particularly deep interview, but it’s worth checking out.
Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” is an insane and delightful collection of stories that combines thrills and dark comedy for a spellbinding and unforgettable experience. Easily qualifying as one of the best films of last year and even earning an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film (an award it should have taken without question over the Academy’s selection), this is an absurdly entertaining film that is not to be missed.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
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