This was a feature so profound that I couldn’t write a single word upon my first viewing. Taking into account how morbid the subject matters covered are; it’s bewildering that I’m eager to revisit it.
Primarily, Exhibit A hones in on domestic abuse – the phenomenon of paternal figures appearing angelic to the outside world but behaving like a Demon to their immediate families is something acutely conveyed.
The critical scores regarding this are absolutely bewildering – people shouldn’t critique categories of content that they don’t understand in the first place.
Found footage is my preference where horror is concerned – if you hadn’t already guessed. After regarding Hangman so highly; I was amazed about this feature – and rather ashamed it was new to me (after being out for over a decade.)
The prerogative that this format of film pursues is to make the person behind the camera contextually comparable to something occurrent in reality – and I’ve never seen a film accomplish this and essentially succeed it – the daughter behind the camera (for the most part) makes the medium a factor the director embraced (rather than cater to.)
As far as the cinematography goes; there’s not much more that needs to be said about how genius it is; this is something one needs to appreciate for themselves – and the fact that I’m stopping here (in regards to that) is a testimony to how multifaceted and emotionally insightful this morbid feature is.
The demographic illustrated here is similar to Inbred; which could be setting some sort of trend where British horror is concerned – which must be daunting for such communities; given that art is a reflection of their realities.
Materialism and the average male’s concept of what constitutes success (mortgage, etc) and the pitfalls of prioritizing such prideful before those that genuinely love them (not for the aforementioned reasons) is brought to one’s attention sensitively and ruthlessly – these sorts of alchemic juxtapositions are very rare.
Unfortunately I can empathize to some degree with the victimized members of the family presented in Exhibit A – making the title particularly fitting; it’s representative of domestic abuse occurrent on a widespread basis; that most often goes unaccounted for.
It’s illogical to regard the father with any empathy here – gambling addiction or not; there was evidently capital at his disposal to rent; but it goes without saying.
In some ways, Exhibit A hones in upon the cyclic nature of childhood abuse; given the personality of the son and the father essentially reverting into juvenile retaliation to his daughter’s efforts to help him see the impact of his ego driven neuroses.
Judith’s obsession with the girl next door is illustrative of more than just her longing to live a life like hers. These voyeuristic demonstrations are symptomatic of the abuse she had likely spent a lifetime enduring.
The vocal tone of the leading man in this movie is suggestive of sociopathic traits; and an inherent determination to behave like a conventional father; rather than being a genuine human being treating those inhabiting his home lovingly; with sincere emotive intimacy.
After watching this; one could come to the approximation that some people most certainly shouldn’t have children. Alternatively, you could go down the victim blaming route and wonder why on earth the wife married such a man; but his descent into bullying and insanity is exactly that; a decline.
Having a family should have alleviated the burdens of such a man; yet his own delusional priorities destroyed everything that he may have once appreciated; that goes for the home they already inhabit; too, but it is human nature to take things for granted…
Judith’s character is the positive message portrayed by Exhibit A. She represented a breaking of the cycle; an aversion to the conditioning that many others succumb to. Whether it is through feminine insight into her mother’s sufferance isn’t for me to say; Dostoevsky’s suppositions regarding the female heart remain valid to this day.
Leaving it on a positive note; this is something I would very much recommend watching – it’s an underrated experience conveying just how far abuse can go; simultaneously remaining relatable to people who’ve endured similar infractions – but not to such extremes.
We’re just getting started.