Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise... they're not alone... and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.
A couple are looking for their child who was lost in the tsunami - their search takes them to the dangerous Thai-Burmese waters, and then into the jungle, where they face unknown but horrifying dangers.
Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia's parents' secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls' idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror.
A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.
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
According to director Fabrice Du Welz there are actually only two characters in the film - Marc and Bartel. Welz says that the rest of the people in the film are all variations of the character of Bartel. Notice how everyone in the film is desperate to be close to Marc, just like crazy Bartel. See more »
"ELECRTICITE" is spelled during the end credits instead of "ELECTRICITE" (Electricity) See more »
In the "thank you" section: "Balo, Jean Hermann, Denis Closset, morts au montage" ("dead in the editing room"). See more »
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.
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