Kinotherapy’s review published on Letterboxd:
I talked about this film in my Salo review, but I figured I would go a little more in depth.
To be honest the film seemed promising from the start. It was shot competently and was setting up a mysterious set of arrays. I wasn't strongly invested but was mildly curious and was willing to see where it was going to go. Unfortunately, as the film goes on it just falls apart more and more as it seems clear that "A Serbian Film" is not interested in telling a story, indulging you in a mystery, or hardly even giving a visual experience, but is rather focused on 'shocking' the audience with it's wild, disturbing, controversial content. Now I don't know what the director or other crew members had in mind while making this, so take these next criticisms as assumptions rather than accusations. Anyhow, it felt like the director just wanted to make an "art-bait" kind of film. As if he tried to make it weird and confusing, then throw in a bunch of unsettling, sexual images and everyone will think it's a masterpiece! That's what so many other films like A Clockwork Orange, Antichrist, The Holy Mountain or Salo have done! So I'll just copy those without realizing what made those movies great!
If the film ended just a couple seconds earlier, then I may have been a little more forgiving, but then that last shot just ruined it again. It reaffirmed my hunch that the filmmakers did not want to make a real movie and just wanted easy attention. This feels like David Lynch or Lars Von Trier without any substance. Almost as if he thought "Hey, nobody in the world watches Serbian films, so I'll make something that everyone is guaranteed to see! And I'll even call it "A Serbian Film"! That won't ruin any other films from my country!
Oh and in case your wondering, I wasn't disturbed by this movie either. "But infant rape!" as the defenders of this movie will say. So what? I knew about that scene before watching this film, so maybe my opinion isn't as valid, but even still, it added nothing to the film, and the whole purpose of that scene existing is once again just to be vulgar and disturbing. Every scene was just trying to out do the last and be as edgy as possible when not even those moments worked. I can understand how some of these sequences could disturb others solely on their own, but for me I was just so uninvested and became bored and even annoyed at the constant attempts for reactions. And when a film is just forcing it's...(insert vulgar metaphor here) in your face, you become desensitized to it very quickly.
For those that like this movie I... kind of see why. I was willing to give it a chance in the first half, as it had some things going for it, but then "A Serbian Film" just digs itself deeper and deeper into patronizing, edgy bullshit that may seem enticing and frightening to some, but ultimately left me feeling empty. Nothing was gained, nothing was lost except for my time. Maybe I'm in a minority to not even be perplexed by the madness, but I honestly believe "A Serbian Film" is a boring, insignificant movie that tries to hard in order to make up for it's lack of anything valuable. Check it out if your interested, but my recommendation is don't waste your time.
(maybe a 6 on a good day)