NAME ABOVE TITLE is a horror movie with dark comedy sprinkled throughout – and no dialogue at all. We follow the quiet life of a serial killer in Lisbon who suddenly becomes a social media star. Screened at Fantastic Fest 2021. Read our full Name Above Title movie review here!
NAME ABOVE TITLE is a horror movie from Portugal (org. title Um Fio de Baba Escarlate). However, there is no dialogue in this movie whatsoever, which means both the country of origin and the language spoken there are irrelevant. If you think a movie without dialogue sounds boring, then this is the movie to change your mind.
We screened this movie at Fantastic Fest 2021 and this serial killer / social commentary of a horror movie has elements of dark comedy from start to finish. Plus, it is visually stunning in a true Giallo style while set in the present.
Continue reading our Name Above Title movie review below.
Serial killer turned social media star
There is a lot of social commentary in Name Above Title which is best described by making you contemplate the core plot: We follow a serial killer in Lisbon, who suddenly becomes a social media star. He is caught kissing a dying woman, who just threw herself off of a building (in other words, this is not one of his victims). The kiss is seen as one of pure love.
I would not view it that way, but all the people with smartphones filming the event sees it this way. Suddenly our main character, the serial killer, is an overnight star. Offered deals and sponsored stuff left and right. But, of course, that kind of “fame” never lasts long and the backlash can be pretty awful as well.
The entire story is told without a word of spoken dialogue, which makes this is the perfect international movie. Sure, you’ll see a few newspaper covers, but it’s much more about the symbolism in how people act around and towards him.
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Matthieu Charneau is the main star of Name Above Title as “Candide, the killer”. The French-born actor looks like a total 70s hunk (or a current gay icon) and works perfectly in this role. I can’t remember having seen Matthieu Charneau before, but I will certainly remember him now. Also, he was “Frenchie” in The Bastard Executioner series.
However, Joana Ribeiro plays an equally big role as “All the victims”. You might not notice it at first, since she does look different at each turn, but every single victim is portrayed by this one actor. Up next for Joana Ribeiro is The Man Who Fell to Earth series (2022) which is currently filming.
You do not want to miss out on Name Above Title
Carlos Conceição is the writer and director behind this Portuguese genre hybrid. Name Above Title (org. title Um Fio de Baba Escarlate) is not the easiest movie to explain, but it is decidedly easy to watch. Mainly because it is all about watching rather than hearing dialogue to tell its story.
In the past, Carlos Conceição has directed mostly short films and documentary shorts, but he has a few movies in post-production right now. Also, he is filming a new movie where the title alone should be enough to intrigue you. Its title is Bodyhackers. He had his feature film debut in 2019 with the sci-fi movie Serpentarius (org. title Serpentário).
What Carlos Conceição seems to excel at is staying with the perfect runtime required to tell the story. Name Above title is just 59 minutes long, but when that barely hour-long runtime is this well utilized, you won’t complain. I certainly won’t. Instead, I look forward to watching new movies from this extremely talented filmmaker.
Name Above Title is currently screening at film festivals and we watched it at Fantastic Fest 2021.
Director: Carlos Conceição
Writer: Carlos Conceição
Stars: Matthieu Charneau, Joana Ribeiro, Leonor Silveira
A serial killer is propelled into fame after he kisses a dying woman who has just thrown herself off a balcony. Viewed by the world as an act of kindness, that gesture may well be hiding something far more sinister.
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