Porno review: It’s not what you think it is…

Reviews, TV

Set in a small Christian town in 1992, Porno focuses on five young employees who’ve been given free reign of the cinema they work in after their shift is up one Friday night. However, after they watch a rather risqué film they find hidden in the theatre’s basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who uses her victim’s desires against them.

Though the film’s title sounds relatively straightforward, the film is not, preferring to steer towards taking a deep dive into the characters’ backstories and inner demons (all of which are waiting to be exploited by the one they’ve summoned) rather than revert to a kill-by-the number’s horror flick. In fact, it touches upon complex themes such as repressed desires, overt masculinity, homosexuality and deep-seated Christian ideals.

That’s not to say this doesn’t dish up lots of Eighties horror movie vibe shocks (some of which is in incredibly wince-inducing style, ouch!), however, as it does to great effect.

Director Keola Racela adds tension to this sultry mix, setting the entire movie in a small cinema, which also gives its promising young cast plenty of breathing room to shine. However it’s ‘Heavy Metal’ Jeff (Robbie Tann) who’s the true standout here and aside from getting all the best lines (“see kids, that’s why I don’t watch porno”), his earnest performance shows a character whose bravado of living a straight-edged lifestyle and sticking to his amusing mantra (CBTL – ‘Christ Bears the Load’), offers more depth than you may initially expect.

Although Porno might not live up to its name in terms of the kind of explicit content you might expect, it manages to balance its funny and gore-soaked elements whilst embracing its tacky nature and adding a hefty dose of complicated topics along the way.

If this debut is anything to go on, then it’ll be fascinating to see what Racela does next.

Porno is set for digital release on 1 June

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