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A group of artists, composed of the young actors Wilfried and Matthieu and the actresses Sophie, Mathilde and the dumb Jeanne, is hired by a millionaire, Axel de Fersen, to present a performance of Little Red Riding Hood in his isolated castle to celebrate the birthday of his grandson. Meanwhile, the police advises that a serial killer is raping and killing young women in the woods around that area. During the night, the group feels trapped and threatened in the castle, guessing who is and where might be the killer. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stylish beautiful visuals, but still a typical slasher
The debut of french director Lionel Delplanque is a strange horror film that serves as tribute to two apparently similar but different horror sub genres: The Italian Giallo and the American Slasher.
The plot is quite typical: A group of young actors is hired by a mysterious rich man to go to his castle and perform the "Little Red Riding Hood" tale for his son in his birthday.
The plot gives us everything a slasher demands: a young and very photogenic cast, a location where nobody can escape (the castle is located deep in the forest) and the "theme", in this case, the Little Red Riding Hood.
Nevertheless, while the story moves pretty straightforward as any typical horror movie would go; the whole visual aspect is more in tone with the stylistic beauty of the Italian Giallo, with creepy Gothic atmospheres and a beautiful contrast of colors, red being the predominant of course.
The cinematography shines and the visuals are of enormous beauty. The location is perfect for the movie and the handle of colors is awesome. Sadly (or fortunately?), most of the time this make you forget the clichéd plot full with twist ending.
The acting is quite average, with François Berléand being the only worth mentioning, giving an outstanding performance as the eccentric millionaire. As many reviews have pointed out, the director seemed more concerned in the beauty of his composition than in directing his actors.
The script is good, and even when it has scenes that border absurd (like any scene with the clichéd cop), it also includes beautiful surreal scenes, particularly in the killings; clearly inspired by Giallo movies.
The film is worth a look, since the atmospheric suspense it develops is almost a rarity nowadays. Also, the beauty of its photography is something that must be seen to be believed. Don't expect too much and you'll be rewarded. 6/10
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