During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she ... See full summary »
Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.
Michael B. Jordan
When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important ... See full summary »
Jorge Michel Grau
Three key moments, all of them sensual, define Ana's life. Her carnal search sways between reality and colored fantasies becoming more and more oppressive. A black laced hand prevents her ... See full summary »
Charlotte Eugène Guibeaud,
The plot is based on a true story that happened in the late '40s in a small village in Uruguay. The film focuses on Laura, who, second by second, intends to leave a house, which hides an ... See full summary »
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
This was the best film I saw at London's 2004 Frightfest, much better than the over-hyped but ultimately disappointing Haute Tension, the other French language horror entry.
Superficially this is the Belgian take on the "crazed hillbilly" sub-genre of Last House on the Left or Deliverance, but in it's mixture of horror and surreal humor this is closer to something like Roman Polanski's The Tenant. The portrait of an isolated society who lives without women is taken to its logical and often shocking extremes. There is a scene at the local bar which must rank among the strangest and most memorable set pieces in recent years. The film is very atmospheric and the cinematography is stunning. You can almost feel the chill of the winter forest it takes place in.
Hopefully Calvaire (it's English title was The Ordeal when I saw it) will get a proper release in English speaking territories, though I can see that this is a much more difficult sell than the derivative calling card exercise that was Haute Tension.
36 of 51 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?