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.
Manipulated by a loving and jealous husband, Gloria has run away with her two children and started a new life far away from men and from the rest of the world. Impelled by her friend, ... See full summary »
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.
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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
Ah Belgium... Home of the weird, the sick and the sexually perverted!
"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!
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