User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 6 out of 22

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  1. JulienS.
    Sep 6, 2003
    10
    The ending is arbitrary, the image is dark too, but hate it or adore it you should see it first!!
  2. Anonymoususer
    Sep 7, 2007
    9
    this is not a movie made to be digested by americans. no explosions, no CGI, no george clooney, no abc 123 training wheels plot. this is a painting of a path to sexual/pattern behavior slavery. the character may have been turned on at some point, but finds less and less fulfillment until he becomes a robot in a black suit who loses his ties to conventional society; eating garbage. hence this is not a movie made to be digested by americans. no explosions, no CGI, no george clooney, no abc 123 training wheels plot. this is a painting of a path to sexual/pattern behavior slavery. the character may have been turned on at some point, but finds less and less fulfillment until he becomes a robot in a black suit who loses his ties to conventional society; eating garbage. hence the senseless finale. it is shot at night because that's where the character prowls... dear heavens, the comments here explain why Bush was elected. this is a movie about sexual repression turned mental illness; if you're looking for something else, go watch Transformers or the latest X-Men. Expand
  3. M.T.
    Apr 18, 2003
    10
    Outstanding script and finally some real feelings and hiden desires and that hollywood sh*t stuff.
  4. CristianoG.
    Oct 8, 2005
    7
    It's a intelligent movie about the society "despersonalization" that occurs nowadays. It's about a man that communicates through his own body. A man that looks for somethin real in his life; It´s a really good movie.
  5. RobertH.
    Apr 6, 2005
    8
    A visually stunning and absorbing film. The 'plot' had slightly too many gaps. I think that Rodrigues assumes that we can easily fill in the gaps ourselves, so don't see it if you want every loose end to be tied up neatly.
  6. David
    Mar 4, 2003
    8
    powerful and atmospheric examination of deeply repressed emotions and sexuality leading to tremendous alienation and depravity.
  7. PaulF.
    Mar 8, 2003
    0
    Words cannot convey how atrocious this movie is. Offensive, inane, dull, purposeless, meandering, empty, emotionless, trite ? it is all this and much more. How could anyone truly enjoy and be impressed with a movie whose lead character is a sexually confused/repressed gay man whose life spirals aimlessly downwards, and who ends up in the final reel dressed in a black rubber suit haunting Words cannot convey how atrocious this movie is. Offensive, inane, dull, purposeless, meandering, empty, emotionless, trite ? it is all this and much more. How could anyone truly enjoy and be impressed with a movie whose lead character is a sexually confused/repressed gay man whose life spirals aimlessly downwards, and who ends up in the final reel dressed in a black rubber suit haunting a garbage dump where he dines on wild rabbits and raw sewage? A quality, interesting, redeeming movie this is NOT. Expand
  8. OsmanR.
    Jan 10, 2004
    8
    O Fantasma is a dark-mood movie which arises suspence and sets the audience up for erotic surprises. The plot is slow; however, it enigmatically lets your thoughts flow in in the direction of the characters'. The protagonist has a very strong character, which is felt throughout the movie. It's a great foreign drama!!!
  9. DarcyK.
    Oct 6, 2004
    7
    Kept me interested through-out. Very sexually graphic, which didnt bother me. Ending was too ambiguous - long - and anti-climatic.
  10. RichardH.
    Mar 1, 2007
    10
    Briliant movie about a young man who expresses himself through his body and sexual/erotic encounters in modern day Portugal. Fantastic.
  11. JohnJ.
    Feb 14, 2003
    0
    Long. Boring, But that does not matter because you can't see anything in the movie anyway because its so dark.
  12. JohnF.
    Mar 31, 2003
    2
    Some of the early sex scenes were, admittedly, intriguing. (This actor has an incredibly hot body.) But there is virtually NOTHING ELSE to recommend about this film. At times I wanted to scream out: "Okay! How about a scene in daylight?" or "Okay! We GET it! The garbage dump is a metaphor for the world! Now say something!"
  13. Max
    Feb 17, 2004
    7
    Jean Genet would have loved this. this film is beautiful to watch, and some of the dark shots and light-play are reminiscent of fincher's style in SEVEN. the performance by Ricardo Meneses is amazing--he was 17 when he was cast--and beyond his years. sexy, revolting, and disturbing; this character study of a sexually confused, psychotic young man is intriguing on a level that is undeniable.
  14. MarkP.
    May 31, 2004
    1
    I would rather suck on a dirty sock than watch this atrocity again. My friend and I still do not know what we watched. The point of the movie, if any, was readily observable in about 5 minutes, but instead we are forced to watch the main character's depredation -- yawn -- unfold. Do your laundry instead of watching this.
  15. CineJ.
    Sep 21, 2003
    10
    A dark gay tale; andersen on rubber; see it as a perverse child drawn to a forest of shadows, beast, garbage and loneliness. porno? well, yes.
  16. tiagom.
    Mar 17, 2005
    8
    Original!
  17. AlanM.
    May 13, 2005
    1
    If there is a genre for "sterotypically bad foreign films" this would be at the top of the list. From plot gaps wide enough to drive a truck through, to hamfisted allegories, this film fits 'em all. Why this film is included in gay and lesbian listings is beyond me. Is the main character gay? Who knows!
Metascore
36

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 9
  2. Negative: 3 out of 9
  1. 50
    An interesting addition to a genre that tends too often to disregard artistic technique.
  2. With little dialogue, a murky night setting and the slowest of plots, this Portuguese fantasy only comes alive when it conforms to its true nature as arthouse pornography.
  3. Reminded me most of Jean Genet's "Un chant d'amour," with bondage and latex replacing incarceration and cigarettes. This is not to say that it's equally good or poetic, but the eroticizing of a whole universe is no less apparent.