Some films just strike the right note. Like a tuning fork, Fingers masterfully resonates and shifts the audience into it’s own bizarre reality with a deft balance of dark comedy and an outlandish personality that is absolutely infectious.

Fingers follows Amanda, a woman struggling with a particular set of phobias, chief amongst them a finger phobia. This issue is suddenly becomes a crisis when a colleague suddenly begins to miss digit…after digit. Struggling, she turns to a self-help guru, Dr. Scotty, who looks to show her the way to face and overcome her fears. However, the reality of the missing finger mystery becomes an obsession that brings her face to face with a dark underworld…one she faces with a new found glee and an eye for revenge.

From the opening images, Fingers beautifully establishes a tone that blurs textures of reality with hyper reality of performance. Watching a man wearing a modified panda ski mask slowly dancing towards the camera, illuminated by bright car headlights…it’s like something out of a hallucination, a poppy but simple image that sums up the attitude and lucidity of Fingers’ delightful madness.

While the film succeeds in immediately establishing it’s off kilter tone, in order to set up the character arcs of its central characters, the film does struggle for the first 15 minutes to fully find its feet. Amanda comes across as an extremely difficult character to root for, and her behaviour and interactions with those around her alienate initially. However, as the wider world of the narrative expands and we see her progression through her rather extreme adoption of Dr. Scotty’s questionable advice, the film takes off into a whole other level of unexpected thrills, becoming a campy, Coen Brothers-style tale of crime, missing digits and the quest for personal freedom. The film even quite succinctly comments on the hypocrisy of self-help gurus in the behaviour of Dr. Scotty who is more interested in building his brand than actually helping his clients…but still somehow actually does transform Amanda’s life in the process!

The star of the show is without a doubt Jeremy Gardner in the role of Talky. He’s an absolute whirlwind of energy, menace and hilarity, but what makes him truly memorable is the depth he affords his character. Beyond the threats and theatricality, there is something vulnerable and broken about him that makes him fascinating, and helps reinforce the splintered grey nature of every character (bar the broken shell of a man that is poor Walter, the little island of innocence in the ocean of twisted machination) within the film. And of course, a cameo role from Michael St. Michael of The Greasy Strangler fame only helps set the tone of glorious unpredictability.  

Fingers is an oddity, but one imbued with such a confidence of personality that it’s impossible not to find yourself swept up in the joyous black comedy of it all. It’s a strange beast and one that could be the midnight movie hit of the festival.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Fingers
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About The Author

Matthew Hammond is a full time cinephile, specializing in cult, art house and 1980s cinema. While film is his overwhelming passion, Matthew has been known to enjoy comic books, Sherlock Holmes stories and a good film related T-shirt. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments: