Most Disturbing Content Possible?

A Serbian Film stands by itself on the list of most controversial and shocking movies ever made. Vulgar, offensive, depraved, disturbing, an assault on the senses – all these labels and more have been applied to the explicit thriller by director Srdjan Spasojevic. Blurring the line between art and exploitation, the sick movie is unforgettable and psychologically traumatic for many. Banned or heavily censored in some parts of the world, A Serbian Film is more frightening than any horror movie possible.

Possibly exorcising the collective trauma the director’s own country experienced during the 1990s over war, A Serbian Film is beyond brutal. The visceral and graphic rape scenes are harrowing glimpses into a cinematic hell that plunge you into a world of hopeless despair. If you don’t feel dirty after watching A Serbian Film in its fully uncut form, get help.

If you don’t feel dirty after watching A Serbian Film in its fully uncut form, get help

Candidly, the movie’s most infamous scenes are without a doubt revolting and immorally disgusting on multiple levels. There’s a scene with a newborn child that will turn your stomach. Even the most desensitized adults will have jarring reactions, which makes it more powerful than the usual gorefests and slashers that comprise most exploitation. If this sounds like it will be too much for you, watch anything else and don’t feel guilty for avoiding A Serbian Film.

Milos is a retired porn star in Serbia, living a mostly happy family life with Maria and his young son Petar. Known as a legendary porn performer, financial problems force Milos to consider a wildly lucrative offer to get back into the business by the mysterious Vukmir. Promised a payday that would solve his family’s monetary problems for good, Milos accepts. The man has no idea what he is getting into with Vukmir.

Milos is soon entrapped in a hellish ordeal of cruelty that goes far beyond the boundaries of ordinary pornography. Nothing is sacred in A Serbian Film. It transgresses conventional prohibitions on violence and sex norms that most of us take for granted in cinema. The movie’s denouement is sickening, proceeding naturally from everything leading up to its forceful climax. Made like a twisted fever dream, viewers that make it all the way through are left emotionally spent and wondering.

Unearthed Films has brought the fully uncut director’s version to Blu-ray for the first time. Back when the movie was first released in 2010, a slightly cut version that made a couple of the most notorious scenes more implicit than explicit was put out on home video. This edition restores everything Srdjan Spasojevic first intended for his film.

Some believe the cut version may be more disturbing, since it leaves the absolute worst imagery up to the human imagination. Don’t watch A Serbian Film expecting the merely gross but rather predictable gore of a Hostel. A Serbian Film pulls off far more disturbing tricks. It’s a psychologically grueling experience that terrifies with its realism.

Video

Filmed with the RED ONE digital camera back in 2010, A Serbian Film always had the raw definition and detail of immaculate video. Everything, and I mean everything, is up on the screen in exacting detail and clarity. A Serbian Film is slickly shot with top-notch depth, only adding to the unnerving Mise en scène.

The earlier Blu-ray from Invincible Pictures, besides having a few cuts despite its unrated claims, arrived with a crude and unsatisfactory color grading firmly of its time. Digital colorists have immensely refined their craft over the past ten years. The color palette was always drab and overly yellow, but Unearthed Films brings the movie a completely new digital grading that looks ten times better than the original BD.

The fully uncensored and unrated cut runs 103 minutes with a superior AVC encode on a BD-50. The digital transfer holds up well and looks even better with the new grading pulling out more vitality. Unearthed Films’ new transfer is now the definitive presentation for A Serbian Film.

Audio

Made in the Serbian language with no foreign dialogue, A Serbian Film isn’t a sonic showcase. The sparse, limited sound design from the original 2.0 PCM stereo mix carries over to the 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround track. The movie is cleanly recorded with clear, distinct dialogue. Only a smattering of ambient presence leaks out in the surround mix. The new surround mix isn’t dynamite but does expand the front soundstage with a little more depth.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font. The subtitles play outside the widescreen scope presentation.

Extras

Unearthed Films puts out the definitive edition for A Serbian Film, fully restored and uncensored with a masterful new color grading, plentiful new extras, and optional subtitles. Almost all other Blu-ray releases for the movie have been cut, including over four minutes for the British edition. While the back cover mistakenly lists the disc as Region A, it is in fact good for all regions. A slipcover is included.

Audio commentary with Srdjan Spasojevic and Stephen Biro – The man behind Unearthed Films sits down with the director.

Audio commentary with Joe Lynch and Adam Green of The Movie Crypt

A Serbian Film Exhibition featurette (03:18 in HD)

Behind the Scenes of NBP featurette (06:16 in SD) – Footage that covers the infamous newborn baby scene.

2010 Brussels Film Fest Q&A (46:58 in SD)

Photo Gallery (02:08 in HD)

A Serbian Documentary Preview (03:45 in HD)

2018 Q&A with Srđan Spasojević & Jelena Gavrilović (28:04 in HD) – Film festival highlights.

A Serbian Film Trailer (02:05 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

A Serbian Film
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Graphic with some of the most disturbing material ever committed to screen, the notorious movie is a grueling test for audiences.

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