Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the fact that I have had the displeasure of watching several truly awful films this year. The likes of 12 Hour Shift, F.E.A.R. and Elyse have all made their attempts at being crowned the worst film of the year, but none can come close to the absolute horror show that is Tyger Tyger.
Set during a pandemic of unknown origins, Tyger Tyger features a small cast and a minimalist story. As Blake (Sam Quartin) and her partner Cole (Max Madsen) rob a pharmacy – searching for drugs that they and their community need – they stumble across Luke (Dylan Sprouse) as he argues with a pharmacist who refuses to sign his prescription. Blake and Luke share a moment during the robbery, only to be separated by Cole and then the sound of police sirens. In a bizarre moment later on, Blake leaves Cole behind while visiting the doctor and accidentally kidnaps Luke with her mute friend Bobby (Nekhebet Kum Juch). The three then embark on a journey that leads them to a city where laws don’t exist.
Focused far more on style, writer and director Kerry Mondragon has crafted a film so pretentious it would make an A-Level student film look like Apocalypse Now. There are plot points and character directions that are so maddening that Tyger Tyger becomes an exercise in the audiences own self-control. Like watching your local football team on a Saturday afternoon, frustration soon sets in and I found myself swearing at my screen on several occasions as I tried to make sense of what was happening. There are plenty of good looking shots here, but you get the feeling that these could literally have been shot by anyone, and the only people who will take anything from it are first year art students desperate to look cool.
Just like the direction and the writing, the acting leaves much to be desired. The script appears to be loosely applied and many of the actors seem to be ad-libbing their way through the film. While this is generally fine, the permission for the actors to find their own way merely comes across as pretentious nonsense – and in better hands, a stronger director would have put their authority across to ensure their vision was kept intact. But that also sums up Tyger Tyger perfectly. What is the director’s vision? Who was the film aimed at, and what exactly were they trying to say? None of these questions are ever answered, leaving the viewer stifled and frustrated by a film that is as pointless as they come and feels about as useful as a chocolate tea pot.
Tyger Tyger is available on Digital Download now.