Writer/director Kristian A. Soderstrom manages to balance nostalgia and references to Italian horror that appeal to audiences in the horror community within a cautionary tale of the dangers of it without seeming hypocritical. There’s also some interesting topics brought up around the nature of collecting and how we look back with rose-tinted glasses, with one character claiming that he never watches VHS anymore because the quality is terrible while surrounded by his collection of tapes. The past becomes a commodity.
There’s a hint of tragedy throughout the film as we watched Ennio and Simone yearning for
better days gone by, but there’s some hope in their relationship. It’s not perfect by any
means, but it gives them a reason to stop looking back and seeing these flawed characters
having a good time together is sweet. The best moments are when they’re together. They
feel grounded and real – they both struggle to deal with their addictions but ultimately, they
care about each other. Will they overcome their problems and start fresh together? Call me
an optimist, but I’d like to think so.
Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Videoman’ with its flawed characters and themes surrounding the
dangers of nostalgia. While you may initially think this is a downbeat and cynical film, it
leaves the door open for new beginnings. This is Soderstrom’s first feature film after some
shorts – he also wrote and edited ‘Videoman’ himself which is impressive – so I’m very
excited to see what he does in the future.