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Calvaire (2004)

Not Rated | | Horror | 9 March 2005 (Belgium)
2:21 | Trailer
A singer's car breaks down deep in the woods.


4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Stevens
Mademoiselle Vicky
Gigi Coursigny ...
Madame Langhoff
Jean-Luc Couchard ...
Jackie Berroyer ...
Robert Orton
Philippe Grand'Henry ...
Tomas Orton
Jo Prestia ...
Fermier Mylène
Marc Lefebvre ...
Alfred David ...
Roland (as Alfred David-Pingouin)
Alain Delaunois ...
Vincent Cahay ...
Stan Le Pianiste
Johan Meys ...
Romain Protat ...
Figurant Dans Le Bar
Damien Waselle ...
Figurant Dans Le Bar


A few days before Christmas, traveling entertainer Marc Stevens is stuck at nightfall in a remote wood in the swampy Hautes Fagnes region of Liège, his van conked out. An odd chap who's looking for a lost dog leads Marc to a shuttered inn; the owner gives Marc a room for the night. Next day, the innkeeper, Mr. Bartel, promises to fix the van, demands that Marc not visit the nearby village, and goes through Marc's things while the entertainer takes a walk. At dinner that night, Bartel laments his wife's having left him, and by next day, Marc is in a nightmare that may not end. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

woods | van | singer | inn | nightclub | See All (23) »


Some people would kill for company.




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

9 March 2005 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Calvaire - Tortur des Wahnsinns  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$635 (USA) (6 October 2006)


$2,623 (USA) (6 October 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


With the exception of the subtle violin tune heard during the final shots and closing credits, and the creepy piano music in the bar, the film has no musical score. See more »


"ELECRTICITE" is spelled during the end credits instead of "ELECTRICITE" (Electricity) See more »

Crazy Credits

In the "thank you" section: "Balo, Jean Hermann, Denis Closset, morts au montage" ("dead in the editing room"). See more »


References The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Ah Belgium... Home of the weird, the sick and the sexually perverted!
23 April 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Calvaire", a.k.a "The Ordeal" is mainly a Belgian production and – being a Belgian myself – I'm rather proud of that, although it also once again illustrates that the only cult and controversial horror films coming from this country pretty much all revolve on sexually perverted characters! "Lucker" served us the diary of a necrophiliac and the ultra-rare film "Vase de Noces" (which I haven't seen yet) handles about the sexual relationship between a farmer and his pig. At several points in the film, "Calvaire" hints at bestiality as well and the least you can say about all the characters, even the unimportant ones, is that they're heavily struggling with their hormones all together. The honest and hard-working singer Marc Stevens is on his way to a Christmas gig when his van breaks down on a rural road near a remote village. A loyal young man guides Marc to Paul Bartel's godforsaken hotel and that's where the madness really begins. Bartel is obtrusive and overly friendly at first but gradually his traumatized mind begins to mistake Marc for his own adulterous wife who left him. For Marc begins a nightmare in which he's dressed up in woman's clothes, tortured and forced to have sexual intercourse. Even when he manages to escape into the forests he isn't safe, as all the local rednecks are deranged deviants as well. The subject matter of "Calvaire" sounds pretty devastating, but it actually comes across as a black comedy most of the time. It's an absurd film with disturbing undertones and grisly images, yet the surreal atmosphere and the overuse of stereotypes almost makes it a comical experience. You can summarize this film as being a demented and typically European interpretation of classic backwoods-thrillers such as "Deliverance" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". The hillbillies are crazier, the situations are more grotesque and the perversion is a lot less subtle. Especially considering "Calvaire" was the debut project for most of the crew members involved, the film is exceptionally well-made! The cinematography is stunning to observe most of the time, with beautiful images of large and ominous forests, and the interior filming locations are dark & creepy. The acting performances are a bit weak sometimes but still endurable. Regretfully, the script also features a couple of tedious moments and it leaves quite a bit of questions unanswered when the film is finished. Nonetheless, "Calvaire" is destined to be a cult favorite in the near future (if it isn't one by now) already and fans of odd, offbeat cinema can't afford themselves to miss it!

27 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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