Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Couldn't Sleep Last Night - FRENCH HORROR FILMS

Couldn’t sleep Sunday night so I decided to finish off Trouble Every Day, a movie I picked from Netflix because I liked the title. I have been into French horror ever since I saw In My Skin about four years ago, and I would not call Trouble Every Day a horror movie, but I would not lump it into any other genre either. For starters, Trouble Every Day is quite gory and disturbing and for enders it stars Vincent ‘I am good looking in Europe’ Gallo, who in his personal style doesn’t have much to say and instead, tells you all you need to know with his psychopath eyes.

In the beginning I was not all that into it, maybe because it was late and I was half thinking about Monday but slowly I fell into its spell. The pace is slow. The soundtrack, though played and repeated about a dozen times, is beautiful and there is very little dialogue, all of which gives the film certain passive fascination. It is quite enthralling, to say the least. Especially for those into morbid stuff.

The plot goes something like this; black haired chick with freaky mouth likes to eat men. Literally, she gorges on their faces like a hungry hyena. She picks them up on the road where she lures them with sex and then eats them. Then, her doctor husband finds her exhausted lying in the middle of nowhere, takes her home and locks her in while he goes to work. 

There are two horny young boys who are infatuated with her. They look at her peeking from her window and decide to break into the house. When they reach her she lures one of them into her bed while tonguing his face off. Horny French dude thinks he is going to get laid but instead she ravages his face with the fury of a lion. The scene is pretty cool. She goes all out and munches on his skin in a pretty animalistic way. He dies. There is quite a bit of blood.

At the same time Gallo and his gorgeous fiancĂ© are on a trip to Paris. Honeymoon or something. They look at each other. Then, they look at each other some more. She takes a bath. He looks at her. Maybe he can’t get it up so to remedy that he ends up at the doctor’s house, where he encounters the bloody face muncher who is walking down the stairs. The scene is wicked. The sight of Core (that’s her name) all covered in blood is classic. Fearing for his life, he kills her. Then, burns her body. 

That’s about it really. Not much in the way of plot, thrills or suspense. Just blunt violence, blood, skin peeling and meditative passages where people look at each other. And then they look at each other some more. But that’s about all I need. Who said we needed brains in our horror? I didn’t. And the critics absolutely hated this movie. They said it lacks thrills and humor and I have got to agree with that but if you are into French movies then most likely you don’t mind movies that lack humor and thrills anyway. This is so French. With lots of blood for a change.

Trouble Every Day is set in Paris. Paris is located in France. And France has released some of the best horror movies of the last ten years. Some are calling it New French Extremity, I say, Japanese horror movies are for two year olds. Here are my favorites: 

Calvaire – Known as The Ordeal in the US, this is actually a Belgian film but is in French so fuck it. I took this one out of the public library. Had zero expectations and was violently surprised. Marc is a one man traveling circus. When his van breaks he ends up in a strange neck of the woods and is forced to stay a night in an Inn located where there is seemingly no one and everyone there is a weirdo. There is a killer musical scene at the tavern. 

In My Skin – Not a horror movie, but pretty sick. My girlfriend was twisting and got squeamish after scene after scene of self mutilation. Weird chick likes to eat herself. She peels her skin then eats it. Has fantasies about cutting her arm. Wicked stuff. 

Frontiers - One of the most brutal movies I have seen in a while. So much blood and guts and it is all so colorful. So much attention to detail. A group of friends escape Paris and end up in an Inn ran by Neo Nazis. The term extreme violence needs to be redefined after this movie.

Inside - For some reason, I tend to confuse this title with Woody Allen's Interiors. This is one of my favorites of the batch. There is no shortage of gore.  Very claustrophobic and atmospheric. Most of the movie takes place in a townhouse. It is late at night and there are only so many rooms to hide. Pregnant lady wants to save her unborn creature. Crazy lady wants to take it out no matter what. If there is something I love about French culture is that they don't give a shit about happy endings. The bad chick is the same bad chick from Trouble Every Day.

High Tension - This one received wide release in US theaters so you have probably seen it. 

Martyrs - Young lady is pissed about her abused past and is back for a vengeance. Guess what? More blood.

Them - Not a lot of blood. Actually, I do not think there is any blood. But what you don't see can scare you. Especially if we are talking about kids scaring people just for kicks.

Sheitan - Insane and over the top. Vincent Cassel stars as a fucking weirdo who has lots of weirdo friends and loves to torment people. Especially, if those people are horny douchebags.

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