LFF 2019 ‘The Antenna’ Review: Dystopian Turkey Invaded By Television

In a dystopian vision of 80’s Turkey, a superintendent must face a frightening black goo that is invading his building. As the nation prepares for a new television broadcast, it becomes clear that the goo is inhabiting the residents and changing them in disturbing ways.

The Antenna is an effectively creepy horror film that capitalises on fear of technology and how it may be used to oppressive populations and steal individual identities. The goo is very cinematic as it streams down walls, spreads through bathwater and sears itself into a steak. The resultant sequences of horror are somewhat compelling with one standout moment seeing seemingly come apart whilst chewing. The intimacy of the camera in this moment makes it an unbearable sequence.

Elsewhere the residents meet their end care of an infected bathtub, a slippery roof and a pair of scissors, all realised with suitably visceral grit. There are long periods of tension in which our main characters navigate aesthetically interesting hellscapes reminiscent of Ben Wheatley’s High Rise. Slowly but surely the film’s narrative becomes more abstract in its exploration of oppression and paranoia.

At nearly two hours long, The Antenna does overstay it’s welcome and the premise soon wears thin. Horror films are allowed to focus on unease and suspense over character, it’s part of the experience to allow the characters to remain as broad as possible to allow for audience surrogacy. But this tension can very rarely be sustained for long periods of time.

The Antenna is an effective if overwrought horror film about technology and the terror of living oppressed. It has an eye for grisly detail and packs some compelling scares. However, it’s characters are a little thin and the overall effect may prove to be less than arresting.

Three Stars

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