End Of The Week Shorts #21 extract: Symptoms (1974)
This British horror movie just didn't work for me. Some would put it in the same vein as Polanski's Repulsion - and you can also feel hints of Bergman's Persona in this too - but, to compare Symptoms to these films would be an incredibly grave mistake.
Both mentioned films have atmosphere; their forms speak to their content. The use of zooms, sound design and lighting in this film, however, never work; there is no tone set and no tense atmosphere. If we were to aesthetically compare Symptoms to another European art movie, the place to look would be Bergman's Cries & Whispers. The cinematography in both of these films is very similar, but nonetheless, Bergman manifests atmosphere where Larraz simply doesn't.
It's not a slow-burner, it's just dull. With bland characters, mediocre acting and nothing much more to speak of, Symptoms is a film that most probably don't need to see.