Calvaire Review

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[Calvaire]
Plot:An opera singer's car breaks down deep in the woods. When he finds refuge at a nearby hotel, he soon discovers terrifying and shocking secrets about the inn keeper of said hotel.

Cast: Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Luc Couchard, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigni, Philippe Grand'Henry, Jo Prestia, Marc Lefebvre, Alfred David, Alain Delaunois, Vincent Cahay, Johan Meys.

My Thoughts:Too bland.

Review:French horror movies are becoming more of a natural occurance these days, as the foreign market slowly but surely begins to get the horror fever that the U.S. has had forever. Foreign markets other than asia that is. After "High Tension", which was sort of disappointing in my view, the next french horror pic to be released comes from Fabrice Du Welz called "Calvaire". "Calvaire" has an opera singer named Marc on his way to a Christmas job and as fate would have it, his car breaks down on him. Lucky for him, he meets a man who guides him to a nearby motel run by a man named Paul Bartel. Marc decides to stay there until he can get his car fixed but Bartel little to Marc's knowledge...has other plans for him. And thus begins a french version of "Deliverance" mixed with a bit of "Wrong Turn". "Calvaire" is really nothing new if you're american, but if you're not american or not an avid watcher of horror movies...you might just find this film shocking and disturbing. I personally found it very disturbing...but when you dissect this movie, it's just another unlucky person stranded in rural territory with nutty rural people type of horror film. Of course Hollywood has made plenty of these movies before, but "Calvaire" sort of reverses things a bit. Instead of grossing us out with an abundance of blood, butchering, and torture...the movie more so tries to mentally disturb with images of utter weirdness all the while playing with very stomach turning subjects such as beastiality and twisted sexual acts. Which is exactly why I say this movie is nothing new. This kind of madness would happen to any poor soul who happened to be unlucky enough to get stuck in rural West Virginia or Mississippi...but "Calvaire" wants us to believe the subject matter is something new and inventive. While I do give Du Welz who wrote and directed the film credit for his attempt at disturbing the viewer...disturbing through perversion doesn't really work in a horror movie unless it's mixed with an equal amount of true horror. Some Du Welz seemed to forget. Du Welz seems to believe that a horrifying situation is enough horror for the viewer to experience but when your film touches on things that most americans and I'm sure French as well already know about...then what is it really? While "Calvaire" does contain some excellent performances by it's two leads Laurent Lucas and Jackie Berroyer...it doesn't shock, surprise, or astonish in any way. Add to that many of the supposed twists that take place are pretty much what you would expect in this sort of setting with a premise such as this one. "Calvaire" is not as good as the previous french horror pic "High Tension", which while I felt was a letdown because of it's ending...kept me on the edge of my seat for 70 minutes. Rather than going for the juggular with many opportunities to do so, it decided to just be a really weird and odd rural kook story. A story that we've seen told all too many times. The crazy redneck sub-genre can be a fun thing to watch, but only when it's done properly in a movie. In "Calvaire"'s case...it was not.

Positives:Great acting by the films two male leads.

Negatives:Boring story, too predictable and totally skimped on the "real horror" stuff.

Overall:If you're looking for weird and strange, then this is your movie. If you're looking for weird and strange and scary as hell...then you might not want to rent this one.





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