Experimental Film by Gemma Files
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s probably apt that the book involving weirdness surrounding film that has gotten the best critical attention is my least favorite.
I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get my hands on a copy of this without having to buy a copy (library systems are both amazing and frustrating), and I was hoping, given the amount of positive press this book has gotten, that it would be up there with favorites like Flicker and Night Film for me. Unfortunately, this fell flat.
The book follows a film critic who heads down a rabbit hole after seeing the screening of a lost film at a festival. The exploration of the film results in a lot of strange finds and a deeper mystery being unraveled as a result.
It’s a tried and true plot, and very reminiscent of Flicker in many regards. For whatever reason, however, the plot didn’t grab me this time. I don’t know if it’s the style Gemma Files chose to write in, or just that I had a lot of trouble buying into the premise in this context. It may be that I’ve read two great books in this sort of subgenre and my bar is becoming too high to clear? I don’t know, but this didn’t do it for me.
Overall, I would still recommend Flicker or Night Film before this, but that doesn’t mean other readers wouldn’t enjoy this more – what tickles me about this subgenre will almost certainly have nothing to do with what might lead you down this path.
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