Reviews: Lilin's Brood

Here's our early review of Lilin's Brood, out in February. 

Nothing to see here.  Moving right along.
The found footage horror flick is a curse and a blessing for low budget independent filmmakers looking to break into the film industry.  Often for peanuts, the aesthetic behind watching voyeuristic unearthed evidence can make great use of very little resources or as such recycle the same cliches associated with the technique.  Once in a while something special happens with the subgenre, offering viewers something not seen in that way previously, whether it's re-working the Japanese anime classic Akira into the live action Chronicle, online chatrooms in Unfriended or most recently the mixture of dark comedy into the proceedings with M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit.  

Unfortunately however, the recently released Lilin's Brood, i.e. a poor man's Safe Haven from the anthological found footage gem V/H/S 2, brings to light some of the worst tendencies of the subgenre in quite some time.  For a style of horror filmmaking that isn't exactly revered or aiming for the stars to begin with, somehow Lilin's Brood manages to scrape the bottom of the barrel by not even measuring up to the most maligned of the Paranormal Activity series. 

Cutting and pasting the framework of the aforementioned V/H/S 2 segment, Lilin's Brood tells the story of an online website aimed at exposing injustices whose crew set their sights on the supposed existence of a larger than life brothel many men attend but few leave. Setting the stage for what promises to be a naughty mixture of sex and depraved horror, Lilin's Brood ultimately winds up being a gimmicky limp dick of a movie that doesn't manage to successfully tread the tightrope walk of carnality and bloodshed that was Bernard Rose's Snuff Movie.  For a found footage flick that wants to come off as sexy and scary, Lilin's Brood comes off as out of it's league and as such difficult to take seriously.  To keep viewers "interested", Lilin's Brood offers mid-film an image so tawdry in it's gawking exploitation that it flat out manages to deep six the picture.  Not unlike what Tyler Durden was referring to when he talked about "splicing single frames of pornography into family films" in Fight Club, the image I won't describe here comes from nowhere and while it isn't the first time I've seen it (Pink Flamingos beat Lilin's Brood to the finish line by 30 years), it's an unnecessary attempt to shock that flat out lifted me out of the picture and made it difficult to care about what followed after.

Just on my way to drop a deuce.
Acting for the most part is serviceable and there are some occasional gore effects that stand out.  Technically speaking Lilin's Brood will annoy staunch consumers of this kind of movie for it's overt gaps in logic, such as a laughable moment when a fixed security camera that just happens to pan over to a character walking by.  The endless music loop of sexy bongo drums in the brothel had my thoughts drifting off to Tommy Wiseau's terrible, terrible TV series The Neighbors.  For as hard as this one tries to both shock and titillate, outside of looking at a human sphincter (SPOILER!!!), there really isn't much to take away from Lilin's Brood.  The ritualistic birthing of the antichrist is funnier than you would think and not once for all it's GoPro point of view "scares", it fails to be remotely frightening or suspenseful for even a moment.  If there's any reason to recommend this to people who like found footage horror movies or even LiveLeak shock and awe, I'll just conclude that it's not everyday what you perceive to be a thriller chiller happens to randomly take a good hard look at a human butthole.


- Andrew Kotwicki