Difficulty Breathing is a disturbing forty minute trek into the life of a reclusive woman. It is the newest film from Guy Pearce (not the one from Memento), the writer and director of The Rope Maiden. He is an underground filmmaker that distributes his own work under the label Sculpting Fragments. So go ahead and get that in your mind now; because, you will surely be searching for his StoreEnvy page by the time this is over.

Guy Pearce is a student of Japanese horror. The influence of the original Guinea Pig series and the films of Shozin Fukui can be seen in this film. As far as modern day underground filmmakers go, this film has flashes that you may recognize from something like A Perfect Child of Satan.

While this little move didn’t have the gore that one would expect from a filmmaker influenced by something like Mermaid in a Manhole, it has the claustrophobic feel of many of the Guinea Pig films. It uses little dialogue to give the viewer time to take a voyeuristic peek into the life of the protagonist. The lack of dialogue gives him the opportunity to create tension with sound.

As far as the film goes, it is a look into the life of a woman dealing with the aftermath of an assault. The first half of the film moves along very quietly. Despite the occasional brief flash back, it really just follows a lady. Of course, this lady gradually appears to be broken. The title of the film becomes significant in more ways than one, as she becomes more reclusive. As the reclusiveness leads the viewer to witness her signs of mental illness and deterioration, the suffocating nature of the film truly takes over.

The last half quickly spirals into madness and brutally disturbing imagery. As our main character falls into the dark recesses of her mind, the viewer also finds themselves struggling with reality and illusion. As the tension builds to the brutal climax, the volume turns up, the camera gets close, and the viewer’s mind gets blown. The end of this film is something you can’t unsee. It is a wild ride into realistic horror that will not let you down. I’ve seen this guy in FB groups and watched a couple of his YouTube videos. I had no idea, however, of what he was capable of as a filmmaker. This is the type of film that the underground needs. It has quickly jumped to the top of my indie horror must-own list along with James Quinn’s Flesh of the Void. So if you are into Lucifer Valentine, Guinea Pig, Fukui, Malattia, Dora, and anything from Toetag, NecrostormBlack Lava, or Unearthed Films, you need to buy this guy’s movie.

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Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I'm here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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