About the Film

Samuel's Travels | September 24, 2021 (United States) Summary:
Countries: Latvia, BelgiumLanguages: Latvian, English

Film Stills

Film Review

SQUEAL has a waking nightmare-ish feel to it.  It’s the same feeling I had when I first saw HOSTEL in theaters; a feeling I get most times I watch a film where someone is captured in rural Eastern Europe in a movie.  While in SQUEAL, there is a bit more humor to the film’s events unlike their horror genre film brethren, there is still an uneasy feeling that sits in the pit of your stomach watching humans practice depraved acts on other humans and animals.  That’s probably one of the points the film’s director, Aik Karapetian was trying to convey in his tale (written by Karapetian and Aleksandr Rodionov) about a man, Samuel (Kevin Janssens) who is captured and forced to live his life as a pig.

There are elements of this movie that harken back to Kevin Smith’s TUSK, but no one is being forced into an animal suit here.  In fact, it’s almost like the director crossed TUSK with something from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, which is to be taken as a compliment.

The cast chews the meat off the bones of this script and devours every line.  There’s nothing wasted here with their characters, and the actors elevate what could come off easily as caricatures of storybook folk.

The movie’s locations are gorgeous and lend themselves well to the twisted fairy tale that the movie becomes.  The opening scenes and narration lay the story of a man in search of his long-lost father simply, and the story moves quickly from there.

The soundtrack perfectly complements the movie and assists in setting the tone throughout.  The beginning is filled with wonderful strings that add an etherealness to the story, deepening the audience’s immersion.

I would recommend not watching the trailer for this film before seeing it, as it will most likely put notions into your head that would put you off even giving this movie a chance because of the subject matter.  I would give this movie a chance though, as it’s really well done and a marvelous effort on behalf of the director and cast.

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A film critic for over a decade and a die-hard supporter of independent film and those that make it. Nic LaRue hails from the state of Massachusetts and spends his free time running a woodworking business (LaRue Creations), cooking, and taking time outside with his dog, Luna.