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Maléfique (2002)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,784 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 26 critic

In a penitentiary, four prisoners occupy a cell: Carrère, who used his company to commit a fraud and was betrayed by his wife; the drag Marcus and his protégée, the retarded Paquerette, who... See full summary »

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Title: Maléfique (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérald Laroche ...
Carrère
Philippe Laudenbach ...
Lassalle
...
Marcus
Dimitri Rataud ...
Pâquerette
Didier Bénureau ...
Hippolyte Picus
Félicia Massoni ...
Claire Carrère
Geoffrey Carey ...
Charles Danvers
Paul-Alexandre Bardela ...
Hugo Carrère
Boris Lutz ...
Danvers jeune
Nelson Jourdan ...
Danvers enfant
César Castagné-Favali ...
Danvers bébé
Yves Arnault ...
Le Directeur
Benjamin Haddad ...
Le Gardien de Prison 1
Thierry Cazal ...
Le Gardien de Prison 2
Olivier Bouana ...
Le Gardien de Prison 3
Edit

Storyline

In a penitentiary, four prisoners occupy a cell: Carrère, who used his company to commit a fraud and was betrayed by his wife; the drag Marcus and his protégée, the retarded Paquerette, who ate his six months sister; and the intellectual, Lassalle who killed his wife. One night, Carrère finds an ancient journal hidden in a hole in the wall of the cell. They realize that the book was written by Danvers in the beginning of the last century and is about black magic. They decide to read and use its content to escape from the prison, when they find the truth about Danvers' fate. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Details

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Release Date:

7 May 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A mágikus könyv  »

Box Office

Budget:

€1,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa d'exploitation en France #104465. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Viande d'origine française (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Original and inventive - sublime French horror!
22 May 2008 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

French horror cinema has seen something of a revival over the last couple of years with great films such as Inside and Switchblade Romance bursting on to the scene. Maléfique preceded the revival just slightly, but stands head and shoulders over most modern horror titles and is surely one of the best French horror films ever made! Maléfique was obviously shot on a low budget, but this is made up for in far more ways than one by the originality of the film, and this in turn is complimented by the excellent writing and acting that ensure the film is a winner. The plot focuses on two main ideas; prison and black magic. The central character is a man named Carrère, sent to prison for fraud. He is put in a cell with three others; the quietly insane Lassalle, body building transvestite Marcus and his retarded boyfriend Daisy. After a short while in the cell together, they stumble upon a hiding place in the wall that contains an old journal. After translating part of it, they soon realise its magical powers and realise they may be able to use it to break through the prison walls.

Black Magic is a very interesting topic, and I'm actually quite surprised that there aren't more films based on it as there's so much scope for things to do with it. It's fair to say that Maléfique makes the best of it's assets as despite it's restraints, the film never actually feels restrained and manages to flow well throughout. Director Eric Valette provides a great atmosphere for the film; the fact that most of it takes place inside the central prison cell ensures that the film feels very claustrophobic, and this immensely benefits the central idea of the prisoners wanting to use magic to break out of the cell - it's very easy to get behind them! It's often said that the unknown is the thing that really frightens people, and this film proves that as the director ensures that we can never really be sure of exactly what is round the corner, and this helps to ensure that Maléfique actually does manage to be quite frightening! The film is memorable for a lot of reasons outside the central plot; the characters are all very interesting in their own way and the fact that the book itself almost takes on its own character is very well done. Anyone worried that the film won't deliver by the end won't be disappointed either as the ending both makes sense and manages to be quite horrifying! Overall, Maléfique is a truly great horror film and one of the best of the decade - HIGHLY recommended viewing!


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