“I don’t even know where Wisconsin is. Sorry.”
And so begins Re-Cut, a 2010 movie about a road trip, a creepy farm and Wisconsin. The opening gives the definition of a snuff film, “pornographic film that shows an actual murder of one of the performers, as at the end of a sadistic event.” Of course afterwards, they state that this footage was found in 2009. Everything is as it should be in this movie and there really are little to no surprises for the entire first half.
Two friends, Adam (Ross Kohn – who I just imagined was Danny Masterson) and David (Austin Basis) are making a documentary called “Life After Reality.” I guess this is supposed to be a documentary about what happens to people when they leave reality shows. Apparently they thought someone out there would be interested. Anyway, the two make a a cross-country to Wisconsin to get their interview.
Meredith Phillips (playing herself) is a reality star who lives in some sort of journalist. She was in some sort of Bachelorette-like show with roses. FYI, the fact that she is a reality star makes absolutely no effect on the plot whatsoever. Adam and David are making their way to interview her for the documentary. On their way to meet her, though, the pair hit a deer on a country road. Points for realistic events! Thought why they freak out so much is quite a mystery. You killed a deer, not your dearest.
When the boys finally arrive, they find that Meredith has zero interest in being in their documentary (“SO tired of this reality stuff. It’s all anyone wants to talk about.” I hear you, sister). The two head back to the van and contemplate heading home. Soon after they leave, she receives an anonymous tip on a story of a double homicide of two sisters in a barn. The deaths only happened a matter of weeks ago, but no good leads ever surfaced. Eager to get a jump on the story, Meredith decides to pursue the tip, but she is left without a crew. Luckily she has two rejects in the parking lot that she decides to take up as her new cameramen.
The three head to Leadville, Wisconsin where they hope to chase the lead. But I shit you not, when they roll into town and start to ridicule it, my heart skipped a beat. It looked exactly like the town I went to high school in, only Leadville is a bit prettier. I guess small town terrors are everywhere. Only this film was shot on location in Spring Green, which is actually a stunning part of Wisconsin and not at all like the place I went to high school.
Of course when they arrive, no one is particularly open with information. That’s why so many women in Wisconsin still have their large 80’s perms. That’s where we keep our secrets in our hair.
They are warned by the sheriff not to go to the house, but it’s a horror movie so they go anyways. They find a couple of dead deer hung up in the barn. As they check things out, they are caught by the chief and are sent to jail for the night. Thankfully they get to keep their cameras on them. Actually camera. Just to point out that there is always two points of view but always just one camera.
The group sit in the local bar, drowning their woes in a pitcher of beer when a man approaches them saying he can take them to the farm. David decides to fuck off because he is the only one who attempt to apply real-life logic to a situation. The group arrives at the farm and begin to poke around for information. The farmhouse is about as cliched as you’d imagine. Vintage dolls that no child in the last century would have played with. Dust and grime covering a house that was inhabited only weeks ago. American Girl Doll nightgowns.
The last third of the film is actually where the film impressed me a bit. I always pride myself in being able to work these things out, but I actually missed a twist in there. That being said, there still is a slightly-disappointing ending and they keep it really light on the explanation part. The less-is-more seems to be applied in the wrong places on this one.
But what is really not answered is why someone re-cut the film into… this any ways. Did they keep it to watch on Saturday nights with some popcorn? What kind of person takes the time to edit this together? Plus they’re pretty bad at making snuff films (if that what this is supposed to be, assuming we are supposed to take the opening snuff-definition thing seriously in the opening credits).
Hands-down the most unsettling part of the movie is the version of “Rabbit in the Pea Patch” by Angie Clark. It bookends the movie and makes me want to check over my shoulder for creeps ready to peel my skin off.