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Sheitan (2006)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 5,951 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 62 critic

A group of youngsters go out to a disco late one night and accidentally run into a shepherd who has prepared himself for a night of Satanic worship.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joseph / Joseph's Wife
Olivier Barthelemy ...
Bart
...
Eve
Nico Le Phat Tan ...
Thaï (as Nicolas Le Phat Tan)
...
Yasmine
Ladj Ly ...
Ladj
...
Jeanne
Gérald Thomassin ...
Maurice
Quentin Lasbazeilles ...
Gilou
Guillaume Bacquet ...
Bébert
Alexandre Borrel ...
Jérôme
Georgette Crochon ...
Marie
François Levantal ...
Le pompiste / Le chirurgien
...
La belle vampiresse
Oxmo Puccino ...
Client boîte
Edit

Storyline

On Christmas Eve, in the Styxx Club in Paris, the troublemaker Bart and his scum friends, Thaï and Ladj, meet the bartender Yasmine and the customer Eve, and after a fight of Bart in the nightclub, Eve invites the group to go to her house in the country. While on the road near the cottage, they are introduced by Eve to the weird shepherd and housekeeper, Joseph, whose wife is pregnant. Joseph feels a sort of attraction for Bart, and during this Christmas night, Joseph discloses his real intentions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Christmas Eve...


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Satan  »

Box Office

Budget:

€2,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

A few seconds after the credits start, a subliminal pornographic frame is inserted. See more »

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User Reviews

 
amazingly, this unheralded little movie is the scariest and funniest film of the year - and, perhaps, the best
24 April 2006 | by (Sunderland, England) – See all my reviews

French shocker Sheitan is, against all odds and expectations, some kind of demented - and utterly disreputable - masterpiece: the scariest, most uninhibited movie of the year, and also perhaps the funniest.

It's by some way the best picture I've seen since A History of Violence: I was really blown away by its punkish energy, unpredictability and confidence; most of all, I loved the way director Kim Chapiron (who I'd never heard of before) mixes horror and humour. So many movies try that balancing-act and come a cropper: Chapiron makes it look easy. She (or is it a he?) also puts the wildly overpraised Haut Tension and Calvaire very firmly in their place: Sheitan resembles both pictures in many ways, but is much their superior in terms of ambition, execution and sheer balls-to-the-wall chutzpah.

It's a picture I knew nothing about before arriving in Amsterdam (for the Fantastic Film Festival) and spotting it in the catalogue: the presence in the cast of Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci caught my eye, but I went in fearing the worst - anticipated a flashily hollow exercise in exploitational style a la Jan Kounen's dire Dobermann (Kounen is, as it turns out, thanked in the end credits), reckoned I might well exit after 30 minutes if it didn't grab my attention. New after five minutes I was going to be in my seat for the duration: hyperkinetic nightclub opening sets the tone/pace/look (much hand-held camera-work, rapidfire editing, up-close-and-personal shots of the youthful protagonists).

Main characters are three pals of varying degrees of boorishness: Olivier Barthelemy as knucklehead Bart, who rapidly gets into a daft dancefloor fight and is smashed over the head with a wine bottle; Ladj Ly and Nicolas Le Phat Tan as Thai - this latter pair relatively sensible and restrained in comparison with their lecherous, thuggish mate. When Bart is ejected from the premises, the trio head off (at reckless speed) in Ladj's car, along with barmaid Yasmine (Leila Bekhti) and another copine, Eve (Roxane Mesquida). After careering through the city streets, the five (accompanied by Bart's dog Tyson) head for the countryside and the farmhouse where Eve's parents supposedly reside. No sign of the folks: instead it's maniacally grinning farmhand/housekeeper Joseph (a near-unrecognisable Vincent Cassel) who provides an extremely hearty welcome. It doesn't take too long for all hell to break loose - perhaps literally, 'Sheitan' being the Persian word for Satan...

Like most of the best films, the less you know about Sheitan beforehand, the better: and any synopsis can't really hope to capture what makes the picture so exhilaratingly effective. Best seen in a crowded cinema - ideally after a drink or two - this is a genuinely disturbing, genuinely hilarious rock-the-house crowdpleaser. Too extreme and jittery for some, no doubt - but how terrific it is to stumble across a film bursting with so much wildness and life. A no-holds-barred rural Gothic: touches of Jeepers Creepers here and there, a bit of Cabin Fever - with Barthelemy's Bart a Gallic cousin of James DeBello's pricelessly doltish Bert from the latter.

And while Chapiron's direction and script (co-written with Christian Chapiron) are, of course, crucial, special mention must be made of Barthelemy, without whom Sheitan might not even work at all. His performance as the hapless Bart - whose sullen idiocy is punished in truly extravagant style - represents astonishing work. Bart is notably unintelligent, relentlessly unsympathetic: unredeemed and very probably unredeemable - a considerable challenge for any actor, never mind one making his first feature-film. But in Barthelemy's hands he becomes a compelling, utterly convincing three-dimensional creation - a startling intrusion of cloddish reality into what is otherwise a mind-bending journey into the surreal and the grotesque.


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We all know Sheitan, Haute Tension ... andreas-1980
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