Final Cut

Pantheon. Sept. 2024. 224p. ISBN 9780593701706. $34. HORROR
.i>Brian and Jimmy have been filming goofy, grisly 8 mm horror films in their backyards for years. Jimmy seems content with the quality of their work, so long as it is gory enough to shock their friends, but Brian aspires to produce a work of art capable of expressing his experience of being alive. To that end, the pair recruit a group of friends and head out to a remote cabin to begin production on a project inspired by two of Brian’s favorite films, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Last Picture Show. Over the course of filming, Brian becomes obsessed with Laurie, the young woman cast in the lead role. When Laurie proves more interested in pursuing a romance with a different crew member, Brian’s desire for a happy ending threatens to override his ability to discern fantasy from reality. Fans of Burns’s acclaimed Black Hole will find this hotly anticipated release similarly surreal and evocative of existential menace, but far more thematically complex and emotionally resonant.
VERDICT A stunningly illustrated exploration of alienation, obsession, and the experience of yearning for connection with another human being, particularly when one feels that they are only capable of expressing themselves through art.
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