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H6: Diary Of A Serial Killer (2005)
Director: Martin Garrido Baron

review by Jim Starkey

H6 is an extremely muddled and confusing film which is fairly well directed and competently acted. There appears to have been some sort of problem transferring the script to the screen, which is a shame as much of what is presented here is surprisingly good. These complications do not arise from this being a foreign language film, more due to a failure of planning and execution. During the lion's share of the movie, many people will probably wonder what on earth is going on and be left scratching their heads.

Antonio Frau is a convicted serial killer who is eventually released having been incarcerated for over 25 years. His detention however shows no sign of having tempered his lust for murder, as he uses the inheritance of a motel from a relative as a base for another rampage. Sounds a little like Psycho? Well, this is a far darker and disturbing affair altogether. Frau preys on people he sees as weak and lures them to their doom in a variety of bizarre ways.

As with other films of this ilk, much of it is shot in a type of dark and gloomy greyscale which is both quite compelling but really rather depressing at the same time. In the tradition of European suspense and horror, director Martin Garrido Baron delivers the set pieces in the film with assurance. The issue here is simply one of restraint. Directors such as Dario Argento are able to cover scenes of brutal violence in a shroud of stylistic padding through the use of stunning cinematography and vivid musical scores. Baron however does neither of these things - either through choice or not.

As a result, H6 falls into the Hostel and Saw category of horror, where the sole purpose of each scene is simply to ratchet up the level of violence and cruelty. Eventually this becomes tiresome and uncomfortable and will have people switching off. Baron appears to be pitching this film on the same level as early Abel Ferrera and Tobe Hooper works. It is very difficult to say where H6 fails compared with films such as Driller Killer and Henry, Portrait Of A Serial Killer which both succeed brilliantly in providing a graphic insight into their central characters. It is probably the earlier-mentioned issues surrounding the script coupled with a fairly poor ending - the film has a running time of 92 minutes but still feels too long.

Fernando Acaso is solid in the starring role whilst the actors around him are workmanlike. If violence for violence's sake is what interests you then this could be what you are looking for, otherwise avoid.
H6: Diary of a Serial Killer

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