Have you ever seen a movie trailer that makes you question the value of your time and wonder why they even bothered making something that is set to fail eventually? This isn’t the case for Artik (2019) which, besides having a questionable trailer, it’s completely different from what it promises and it delivers the goods, quickly.
Artik is the name of the film and of the main antagonist. He’s the owner of a farm located far from civilization. And why wouldn’t he be away from it when on his free time he enjoys savagely murdering carefully-picked strangers. Like a superhero, Artik (Jerry G. Angelo) has his own code when it comes to slashing and hunting. That same code is conscientiously being taught to Adam (Gavin White), not necessarily his boy as the kid has no resemblance to Artik or his wife, and Adam obliges to learn due to the strict nature of Artik. One day, as Adam combs away in civilization, by orders of Artik, to pick a victim, Holton (Chase Williamson) caught him vandalizing a wall. Holton sees that the boy needs help as he looks pale, dirty with mud in his pants and a little malnourished, and gets worried for his living situation. Hell breaks loose when Holton reaches a friend help Adam, as Artik notices something is wrong and prepares to go on a rampage to protect what’s his by following his code.
From beginning to end, Artik demonstrates it has a metal rocker’s soul; everything is dark, hardcore, and it bleeds for the sake of the show. At the same time, it shows it has heart as it’s evident that the film is done methodically to follow a certain storyline with specific elements to avoid cluttering the viewer with pointless plots that lead to nothing.
One of the main elements that is hardly explored in the development of the story is the slight obsession with comics. During the initial sequence several drawings based on the characters and scenes that the viewer will see subsequently are shown, and those drawings are the same ones the antagonist draws from his imagination. However, the issue is not dealt with in depth although it is mentioned several times but there is no background to justify he’s obsession or if his code is based on it.
Besides the only doubtful part of the film, it’s very enjoyable with a satisfying management of camera and light; the settings aren’t pitch-black dark and the camera is very steady for a handheld movement. The delivery from each actor isn’t impeccable but it’s very likable for the planted situations.
Artik goes straight to the point when it comes to expressing its story and that is a plus for keeping a central idea and developing it for a wider exchange of variables toward the final moments of the film. Having several bloody good scenes is a plus, but it’s not a quality to flatter itself for as some scenes seem to have been censored to limit its gruesome effect.