Rewatched Sep 10, 2012
Matt "Cinebro" Conti’s review:
There are plenty of films I've seen that I can say made me physically uncomfortable while watching them, but no other film succeeded in the same way that Bela Tarr's The Turin Horse did. However, whereas other films unintentionally made me physically uncomfortable, The Turin Horse seeks to rock you to your core from the very beginning of the film.
If ever was a director's style appropriate for a film, it's here. The Turin Horse details Bela Tarr's account of what happened to the infamous horse that caused Nietzsche to go insane. But what exactly happened? Bela Tarr's film concludes: Nothing.
And so, with black and white cinematography, long takes, and repetitive music, Tarr accounts the day to day business of a farmer and his daughter. Tarr's point is of course to establish that these people are living out a pointless and meaningless existence.
But what succeeds in Turin Horse's presentation of this material is the overall tone. IMDb lists the film as a drama, and it couldn't be any more wrong. The Turin Horse resembles a horror film more than anything else. It's haunting. It rocks you to your core, and scares you by making you fully aware of your existence and the existence of others. The end could be near, and these people wouldn't know any differently. Nor would it matter. The setting of the farm in the cold howling wind makes this film near apocalyptic.
I can't really recommend the Turin Horse fully despite its brilliance. It is the full result of Bela Tarr's style telling its themes and messages clearly. It is not a pleasant watch. However, if you think you can handle it, you should definitely watch it. I can't say you'll enjoy it, but you'll definitely be affected by it.