Expulsion of the Devil
- 1h 30min
A married couple purchases an abandoned house in the countryside. Soon they witness strange apparitions and events. Their son and their prepubescent daughter are haunted by a poltergeist.A married couple purchases an abandoned house in the countryside. Soon they witness strange apparitions and events. Their son and their prepubescent daughter are haunted by a poltergeist.A married couple purchases an abandoned house in the countryside. Soon they witness strange apparitions and events. Their son and their prepubescent daughter are haunted by a poltergeist.
A French family (chain-smoking mother, annoying child, hard-working father, moody teenage girl) move into a huge creepy mansion and almost right away strange things begin to happen. The teenage girl draws a picture of the mansion that looks a lot different than it actually is. A tin of paint falls over in the kitchen. The boy's toys are broken by someone unseen. During the night most of the windows in the building are violently destroyed by an unknown presence throwing stones. The family are baffled and think the locals have something against them...that is until a table rises up into the air, smashes its way into the house, and destroys a room.
In fact, we the audience are clued in on what's happening more than the family, because there's something strange going on with daughter Sophie. At first it seems that she's some kind of telekinetic-type, but it all could be something more to do with something in the house that's either using her or possessing her. It's never really made clear anyway, but by the way Sophie's reflection seems to be moving when Sophie isn't, something aint right.
Eventually, when a lecherous visitor gets attacked by kitchen appliances after commenting on Sophie 'starting to become a woman', a television crew are called in to document the weird goings on, with the family moving out for a while. Initially, the crew don't find anything particularly strange happening, save for some old rope left in the boy's bed, but when Sophie reappears, having hitchhiked all the way back there, soundman Gerard Depardieu goes into a trance and plunges his hand into a pan of soup...French onion soup of course!
Other things happen but it's not fair to recount every scare scene in case you actually want to go out and watch the thing. It's like the Robert Wise film The Haunting with regards to all the paranormal stuff centred around one person, and like that film doesn't rely on gore to get the chills in. In fact, there's bit of this film have turned up in other horror fiction, especially the 'ball' bit from The Changeling, and really especially Stephen King's work, like the telekinetic girl's house destroyed by stones in the book Carrie, or the sexual ghost coming on to a guy then revealing itself as something horrible in The Shining! There's also a lot of similarities between Salem's Lot and Mario Bava's Black Sabbath while I'm on the subject, and the spider/baby thing from Spider Labyrinth turns up in the Dark Tower books. Don't tell me he doesn't watch these things - he fully admitted getting the idea for the Dark Tower from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!
Back to the film - A couple of sudden deaths come out of nowhere near the end, and you do have a Haunting-like ending...or no ending at all...it is a French art film after all. I guess it's in how you interpret it. Very good though. That's I'm seeking them all out - to find films like this. Recommended!
- Jan 24, 2018