Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre (2001) Poster

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Better watch the made-for -tv first version!
dbdumonteil14 April 2003
This is a complete disaster !The cock-and-bull story defies any explanation.The cast is wasted to a fault:I hadn't even recognized Julie Christie until the final cast and credits.Michel Serrault overplays as hell and is almost unbearable.Sophie Marceau is beautiful ,the director does not ask her for more.Jean-François Balmer, a very talented actor is unable to do anything with his empty character.One good line in the whole dialogue:the museum attendant to an old lady :"Mona Lisa?I dunno".One magic moment in a 90 minutes film the screenplay of which could have been written by a ten-year-old: in the graveyard,Marceau bumps into Juliette Gréco who strangely smiles at her:Greco was the first heroine of the miniseries in 1965.This made-for-TV work was first-rate and has worn superbly well today:if you get the chance to see it,please do!Its obsolete charm is inestimable.

NB:both the movie and the series were remakes of a silent movie by Henri Desfontaines.(1926)
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4/10
the lesser of all Belphégors
movieman_kev6 February 2009
After putting a mummy in a local museum goes through the cat-scan, a metal object in it's brain reacts adversely to the procedure, thus freeing the spirit,or phantom if you will, of the mummy, Belphegor. Due to convenient circumstances, Lisa, who lives close to the museum finds herself possessed by the evil spirit. Soon enough she's stealing the museum's Egyptian treasures out from under their nose. Detective Verlac comes out of retirement to catch the supernatural thief.

This is a serviceable enough, if you haven't seen any other incarnations of "Belphégor" before. If you have, I recommend skipping this particular version as it can't help but pale in comparison to the others despite the nice locals and scenery.It plays out like a (slightly) higher budgeted Sci-Fi Original film, and I don't really mean that as a compliment.

Eye Candy: Sophie Marceau shows ass & side boob

My Grade: C-

DVD Extras: none
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3/10
Ridiculous!
boris-110 December 2001
It´s all my fault. They all told me I should avoid seeing this movie because I´m a huge fan of the old TV-series. They were right. While production values are good and the actors themselves (including "don´t look now") Julie Christie aren´t that bad, the whole film displays a cheekiness and self-conciousness that clearly is without any justification. A comparison between the Karloff "Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns 2000" comes to my mind. In fact Belphegore 2000 owes much more to the new Mummy films than to the old series. But then, scripting is terrible, speed there is none and sometimes the film is full of unintentional jokes (The first scene in the tomb looks plain stupid), with cats clearly being thrown when they´re supposed to jump (landing with their backfeet first). Belphegore moves around like a statue on wheels neither impressive nor scary and the psychological drama that unfolded in the old tv series when the heroine had to learn that she´s a villain is completely neglected. This movie is so WASTED (wasted money, wasted actors, wasted blueprint) that it hurts. It´s a below-par Mummy-rip off that´s only good for some laughs but has nothing at all to do with the Greco classic (She has a small role in this movie too - on the graveyard).
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4/10
The French surrender to the Mummy
JoeB13124 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This was a pretty dull movie, actually. I think the problem with a French horror film, is that the French must be easy to scare or something, because this movie wasn't just that frightening. The special effects with the mummy's ghost looked like they didn't even belong in the film, as though someone put them in during post-production to spice them up, because the actors barely react to them.

The plot just kind of meanders, which is the opposite of real storytelling. I guess this was based on a French TV series, where they had to distill it down to a two-hour movie.

The plot is that a mummy is brought out of storage in the Louvre, which apparently has such weak security that this girl and her boyfriend can break into it multiple times. (So THAT'S how people keep stealing the Mona Lisa!) The boyfriend and the police officer from the 1960's version of this film get together and try to exorcise the demon.

So I'm not sure if this mummy was supposed to be a bad guy or not. He kills two guards during the course of the movie, but he just wants to get to the afterlife.
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7/10
Things that Go Bump in the Night
Nodriesrespect12 May 2010
A three thousand year old mummy wreaking havoc in the famous Louvre Museum in Paris was the subject of a popular French TV series for youngsters from the '60s, starring legendary chanteuse Juliette Gréco. Now, young director – who undoubtedly grew up with the show – Jean-Paul Salomé, who would go on to make the equally nostalgic ARSENE LUPIN with Continental matinée idol du jour Romain Duris, has turned this pivotal childhood experience into an expensive and undeniably good-looking multiplex blockbuster. The elaborate CGI alone must have eaten up a considerable chunk of the budget.

Erstwhile centerpiece Gréco even does a brief walk-on for those in the know during an atmospheric cemetery scene where she makes fleeting eye contact with replacement Sophie Marceau, a talented thespian best known to US audiences for her purely decorative turn in Mel Gibson's supremely silly BRAVEHEART. Though obviously aimed at family audiences, this fairly old-fashioned adventure yarn will please moms and dads rather than their offspring who have become accustomed to far more gruesome sights than the extremely mild horrors on display here.

For the uninitiated, this intentionally naive mix of scares and chuckles should prove something of a disconcerting experience. For example, in spite of its 1935 Egypt prologue, complete with a tomb desecration whose perpetrators wind up swiftly dispatched, the movie draws less inspiration from old Universal or Hammer mummy chillers than from a long line of possession flicks ranging from the modest WITCHBOARD series to the landmark EXORCIST, with Marceau as beleaguered heroine Lisa, unwilling vessel to the embalmed one's vengeful spirit, doing a PG version of Linda Blair's finest hour for the film's grand finale. More importantly for a pervert like myself, she also bares her shapely butt and (right) boob on separate occasions, just so you won't forget this is a French film after all ! Diminutive heart-throb Frédéric Diefenthal, who rose to prominence playing the clumsy policeman hero of the wildly popular TAXI movies with Samy Naceri, also registers strongly as her frequently beaten up romantic foil. Dependable old timer Michel Serrault (forever swishy Alban from the original LA CAGE AUX FOLLES) gets all the best lines as a retired cop turned security expert and even a halfway decent farcical romance with bumbling Egyptologist Julie Christie, the latter handling her French dialog in disarming Laurel & Hardy fashion.

Once viewers can get past the fact that this movie's not intended to scare the living daylights out of them – though the image of the diabolical Belphégor in full ceremonial burial dress hovering through the museum corridors has an eerie Jean Rollin poetry to it – they can fully enjoy this handsomely mounted horror comedy for its ingratiating performances, amiably ludicrous set pieces and stunningly shot Paris settings with all tourist traps present and accounted for. A genuinely haunting score by then fledgling composer Bruno Coulais, who of course went on to write the music for the immensely successful LES CHORISTES, provides the icing on the cake.
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4/10
Disappointing
lgilbertom2 January 2004
I saw this movie only because Sophie Marceau. However, her acting abilities it's no enough to salve this movie. Almost all cast don't play their character well, exception for Sophie and Frederic. The plot could give a rise a better movie if the right pieces was in the right places. I saw several good french movies but this one i don't like.
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3/10
Sophie Marceau has dropped down to this now days?
Boba_Fett113828 July 2008
The movie is apparently based on a popular French horror novel, by Arthur Bernède, from 1927. Not that I had ever heard about it before but Belphégor has been a popular subject before for movies and mini-series. The first movie got released way back in 1927, simultaneously with the novel. Arthur Bernède was a part of a group of writers who wrote and produced films and novels simultaneously. The character Belphégor is one of his best known creations.

Once upon a time Sophie Marceau was a promising new European actress who would conquer Hollywood. She has now however dropped back again to movies like this one. Nothing wrong with playing in French quality movies, since it's the country she originates from but this movie is just ridicules.

Problem is mostly that the movie relies on its special effects, to make the movie good and scary. Well, horror and special effects never really have been a good combination though, with some exceptions here and there. It's not like the special effects are bad in this one. Especially for an European movie it is simply good but it;s just misplaced, since the movie gave the feeling it could had easily done without its effect. It would had actually made the movie a better and scarier one to watch, no doubt about that really.

The movie is just not ever tense or engaging to watch, also since the movie seems to have difficulties picking the right approach. At times the movie picks a light and just less serious approach, while at others it clearly attempts to be a good scary horror movie. This is mostly the reason why the movie just doesn't work out on any level. You can say that the movie is even a bit boring. It all also definitely gets worse toward the ending. After a while you just stop caring about this movie and its story and you start wishing you had decided to watch something else instead.

The editing seems totally off. It uses too fast cuts, without much style, while the fast editing was obviously intended to give the movie a good, modern style. Also the time-line is just plain messed up at times, as if some sequences got edited in the wrong order.

The musical score is also really annoying and at times doesn't even sounds to fit the movie, as if it all long got scored before the movie finished shooting. I can't believe composer Bruno Coulais is an Oscar nominated composer. The musical score is almost just as annoying as the movie its sound effects.

The movie is filled with many characters, which you however just couldn't care less about. It also just seems very unlikely that a woman like Sophie Marceau would ever fall for a man such as Frédéric Diefenthal. The movie also features Julie Christie, which is nice but just doesn't add much to the movie.

A horrible watch.

3/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
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9/10
I love these kinds of movies!
nu-arc19 September 2010
I must say, these kinds of movies which revolve around archeology fascinate me. They are just so indirect and what makes this movie so cool is that it's a culture movie, it's not American; it's French! Egypt is such a fascinating place as they were beliefs about curses and consequences when one disturbs the dead! And now, what will happen when the dead are disturbed present day, how do they re-adapt to express their anger, destruction, hatred and vengeance? This film has really a wicked cover, it was well designed with the Belphegor looking over the louvre with all those hostile spirits spreading their terrifying energy around in the atmosphere! And that costume of the Belphegor is extravagant! I hope i see more movies like these soon!
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6/10
good couldve been better
Arpi_K13 May 2002
I was very interested to see this movie & i wasnt disappointed. It is better than any other french film & is better than the Mummy in some aspects( at least the mummy looks like a mummy not terminator 2 in his underpants in some scenes). this movie wouldve been better if they gave more info bout the mummy( it had some loose ends). the movies good check it out if you have the chance
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5/10
YAY Another Ordinary Film
nirvanafan37-130 August 2005
Kind of like our version of the mummy it is about a phantom who haunts the Louvre. The writing is not that great, nor is most of the writing in films like this one in terms of hooking you into the story. It was very predictable in terms of what was to happen next. So that definitely knocks a few points from a higher vote, I personally like to wonder what happens and have a guess at what could unfold. Sophie Marceau plays Lisa a really dull nervous/anxious commonly seen before type of character, who of course gets caught up in some drama as the movie drags on to the predictable finish. This is nothing like a french cinema movie, much more like a Hollywood film. I am a big fan of foreign cinema, and Sophie Marceau and felt this film was a very average, done before kind of deal. The fact it had lots of action is one plus, because I liked that the action was the only thing that kept me going in this completely ordinary done before film. I give it an ordinary 5 out of 10, if you are going to rent foreign, rent "La Fidelite" also starring Sophie Marceau
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2/10
An Evil Spirit ?.. You Bet !
elshikh431 July 2007
"An evil spirit takes over a girl and diffuses panic in the Louvre museum" that's all I think, the summary of the movie and the movie itself; which I think it's one of the worst French or non French movies ever made in the history of cinema! Nothing good in here except the music (of the credits only!), some tender moments of (Sophie Marceau), and of course the movie's finale shot.. Not because it ends ages of what seemed to be a countless years we had in watching THAT NONSENSE, but also for being so perfect as one magical CGI work that was too good to be true in here! By the way, I want to change the plot summary to be like this: "An evil spirit takes over some cinema artists to make lousy movies"!
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7/10
Not a perfect movie, but with a human touch
unbrokenmetal22 September 2003
In opposite to most reviewers, I'm not familiar with the 1965 b/w TV series, but review this movie as a separate piece of art. Admittedly, ‘Belphegor' is not a perfect movie, as there are a couple of logical problems within the story. Nevertheless it's crafted entertainment. The love interest between Lisa (Sophie Marceau, beautiful as ever) and Martin (Frederic Diefenthal), an eccentric old investigator (Michel Serrault), a museum director (J.F. Balmer) who ignores experts as often as he can (I've faced this kind of boss in real life, believe me) and of course a dark phantom on the loose provide 90 minutes of good fun. And if you suffer from arachnophobia like I do, you'll be happy to hear that this is the first movie about archaeologists since ‘Raiders of the Lost (Sp)Ark' that doesn't employ creepy crawling insects for cheap thrills. Instead, it has a few new ideas. I loved the scene where Lisa explains to a bunch of kids what the Egyptian Book of the Dead is about…gets confused because she doesn't know where she got the knowledge from…and then gets angry about one boy who painted the story the wrong way around in his notebook. It's the little human touches that matter. Voted 7/10.
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7/10
A good European response to Hollywood "Mummies"
Andreev24 October 2001
Well, this film worth seeing, if you are tired of Hollywood computer-animated demons and want to see the real people instead. I liked the authentic surrounding, the interiors of the real Louvre in which the film was shot. And the playing of actors, of course. Though not a masterpiece, but I think it deserves 7 points of 10.
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2/10
Boring
killy_nl6 April 2005
OK, I admit that I still associate Sophie Marceau with La Boum. That was the main reason I went to see this film. But it was so boring, that I nearly felt asleep. Sorry, but her talents as actress are not very convincing. Furthermore, this film was presented as having outstanding special effects and CGI. Yeah, for a B-Movie it is not that bad. After having seen her in "Marquise" some years ago (also a very crappy film), I thought that she would play more convincingly. But La Boum (and may be the James Bond "the world is not enough") seem to be the only good films with her. Is it her "talent", does she have a bad taste when choosing her films or simply bad luck ?
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7/10
just have fun !
cyrano-112 April 2001
step 1. forget the old B&W TV movie step 2. forget the movie magazines and further papers crying on the B&W TV serie step 3. open your eyes and just have fun with this efficient comedy. step 4. come here again, and improve the rating ! step 5. see you for Belphégor 2, the return...
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7/10
A pretty well balanced film
wroutson12 August 2008
I liked this film I saw it with English language not in French I'm not sure if it makes a difference but I liked it I enjoyed the characters and the effects were done well enough the story translated well and it was great to see the Louvre used in another film I've never been there but it looks nice although I would hope it isn't that easy to walk into in the middle of the night, I also enjoyed seeing Sophie Marceau she looks just as pretty as I remember her from Braveheart if not a little older but just as beautiful and I also enjoyed the rest of the cast as well. It was better than the usual crap we get here in the U.S. The title is a little tough to remember but the movie is worth watching in any case. I was not aware of any television series attached to this film so in that regard it still works as a stand alone film without the need to have seen the series.
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5/10
Neither good, nor bad... sadly, just average
jluis198412 December 2006
To many people in France, the name "Belphégor" represents one of the best and most famous novels in the horror fiction genre. Written by Arthur Bernède, "Belphégor" was an intriguing story, mix of horror, suspense and mystery, where a detective attempted to unveil the mystery behind a ghostly presence that haunted the Louvre Museum. Bernède was a man fascinated by cinema, so many of his novels were devised to be adapted to screen as soon as possible. Naturally, "Belphégor" became a silent film in 1927, however, the story reached cult status in 1965 when Bernède's novel became the basis for one of the most popular French TV series of the 60s. To many people in France, "Belphégor" is truly a revered tale of horror and mystery, but sadly, this new incarnation of Bernède's novel ends up as an average entry in French cinema.

"Belphégor - Le Fantôme Du Louvre", begins as an old collection of Egyptian artifacts is found in the vaults of the Museum during the works of restoration. Strangely, the artifacts are not cataloged, so they start to be checked by the Museum's team of Egyptologists. As the main Mummy of the discovery is checked, its spirit awakes, and escapes through the museum's electrical system, becoming a haunting presence in the Museum. At the same time, Lisa (Sophie Marceau), a woman who lives across the street, enters accidentally inside the Museum as the restoration work makes a hole in her basement. Soon she finds herself possessed by the free spirit of Belphégor, who now will use her body for his own evil purposes.

The movie was written by a very talented team of writers (Danièle Thompson, Jérôme Tonnerre and director Jean-Paul Salomé himself), however, the final result is really disappointing considering the talents of those involved in it. "Belphégor - Le Fantôme Du Louvre" moves seriously away from Bernède's novel with the inclusion of a heavier focus in the supernatural elements, and a considerable lack in the mystery and suspense of the story (basically the elements that made the TV series popular). It's not difficult to understand why the French fans got angry as the film has little to no resemblance to the story's earlier incarnations, and seems to had used Bernède's novel only as a blueprint for a typical blockbuster action film.

Director Jean-Paul Salomé confirms this intention by making this movie an action-adventure film with an obvious Hollywood style. Salomé makes the bold decision of attempting what director Stephen Sommers did with "The Mummy" (transforming a classic horror film into an action film), but sadly he fails, leaving "Belphégor" unfocused and almost without a trace of its original incarnation. Despite this huge problem, Salomé shows an effective and technically good direction, and at times his use of the camera and the work with his actors really make the film work. His follow-up to "Belphégor", a new version of the adventures of Maurice Leblanc's character "Arsène Lupin", is a better demonstration of Salomé's talents as an action film director.

The film's saving grace is definitely the talented cast of the movie, as the group of actors really try to do their best job despite the script's many problems, making the film at least enjoyable. The beautiful Sophie Marceau leads the cast as Lisa, still delivering a good performance as always. Fréderic Diefenthal is her love interest, Martin, a young man decided to save Lisa from Belphégor's possession. Diefenthal is effective, and makes a good counterpart to Marceau, but the real treasures are Julie Christie and Michel Serrault, who in their supporting roles steal every scene they are in, and prove their great talent for the subtle comedy their two characters domain. It's a joy to see the two experienced actors giving their best despite the film's obvious problems.

As written above, the script is the movie's biggest problem, not because it deviates from the source novel (that's hardly a sin), but because the approach the story takes seem unfocused and without direction, almost as if the writers weren't sure if to make the movie a mystery film or an action-adventure one. Clearly the purpose was to modernize an old favorite by making it attractive to the younger crowd, but it seems that in the process the writers lost the essence of Bernède's novel delivering a void soulless product. Hoever, this is not to say that the film is awful, the problem is that it just doesn't attempt to be something better, ending with just an average adventure film missing the enormous potential of the story.

While this is not exactly an example of the best Modern French dark fantasy films (Pitof's "Vidocq" or Salomé's own "Arsène Lupin" are better), it's by no means a bad movie. However, I would only recommend it to die hard fans of the genre, or to fans of the actors involved, as this is simply, another mediocre and typical entry in the action-adventure genre. 5/10
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3/10
disappointing
jozsefbiro6 January 2002
Even Sophie Marceau's presence and the few (very few) good French gags are unable to save this otherwise slow and boring movie! A disappointment. The story is weak and so is acting. This movie was advertised as the French version of The Mummy, but the Mummy has at least spectacular and enjoyable effects...
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9/10
Sophie Marceau as beautiful as ever
JconsultJC26 August 2002
Belphégor is drawn from a TV serial dating back from the 50 or 60s, who remembers? I liked this film because of the many likeable characters. In spite of a poor scenario and not too sophisticated special effects, the relationship between these people in Le Louvre museum is very pleasant. Nothing is taking seriously, you believe it or not: it doesn't matter. And last but not least, Sophie Marceau, contrary to many beautiful actresses, is a wonderful actress and you love her.
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8/10
nice french movie
donzup16 April 2001
Sophie Marceau, Michel Serrault and Frédéric Dienfenthal play very good. This film is both scary and funny (especially the replies of Michel Serrault). There is plenty of secondary plan good actors, as in a lot of french movies.
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4/10
Belphégor - Le fantôme du Louvre (2001)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain14 December 2011
Ghost of a Mummy haunts the Louvre. The CGI ghost is not very impressive at all, and since none of the characters can actually see it, it's pretty pointless. Just the audience are treated to poorly rendered effects. On top of that we have some bizarrely outdated, at times laughable, effects. A ghost on wheels to give the impression of floating. Running down the stairs with constant fade effects. This is the kind of stuff they used in silent movies. Effects aside, the story isn't much better. A phantom mummy haunts the Louvre in order to acquire the artifacts it needs to go into the afterlife. There isn't much going on in terms of character,and by the end it's hard to care what happens. Here is a spirit trapped in the world of the living, but it's a malevolent spirit that kills. Also, it only kills characters we don't know, so it's hard to connect. Simple and not very effective. Luckily, Marceau is beautiful.
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4/10
it's not The Mummy, it's french
zaltman_bleros4 August 2002
If you thought this is the french The Mummy and if you're hoping for another "Vidocq"...well look elsewhere. It does have the same kind of story like The Mummy concerning this book of the dead and a soul that needs to find 7 missing pieces that are scattered in the Louvre. I found the movie to be slightly entertaining, boring for the most part. The special effects aren't bad, but it's nothing spectacular as I was expecting big explosions and perhaps the eiffel tower crumbling down until I realized that those kind of scenes were in The Mummy and this is Belhpegor. Apparently based on a french cult tv series, Belphegor could have been so much better. I voted this film a 4/10 only for the beautiful Sophie Marceau...she must be almost 40 and she looks breathtaking!
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10/10
Belphégor - Le fantôme Du Louvre. A must see film!
JohnBlund200112 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
According to me french movies doesn't gets much PR around the world for some reason. However this movie is a proof of that France can make good movies and do. The first time I saw this movie was just a coincidence more or less... One evening I read the Swedish TV guide to see if it was something on worth watching. I didn't think so, however I turned the TV on anyway and zapped around a bit. I finally got to the channel showing this movie and somehow it caught my eye and I start watching, even if I discovered that I unfortunately have missed the first 10 minutes of the movie. I am really glad that I did watch it after all anyway!

About the movie: Much of the story (plot summary) is already available to read on IMDb about this movie, so I don't think one can consider this as a spoiler but to make sure you might think twice before continue reading.

The story starts 1935 in Egypt when a french expedition led by Egyptologist Pierre Desfontaines (Pierre Aussedat) discovers a tomb with a 3000 years old sarcophagus in it containing a mummy. Amongst other artifacts, they decide to bring back the sarcophagus and the mummy, to the Louvre museum in Paris. During the boat trip to Marseilles however all but one crew member strangely dies including Pierre Desfontaines himself. 65 years later during a restoration of the Louvre museum in Paris the mummy is found in a forgotten storage room. The museum curator Bertrand Faussier (Jean-François Balmer) brings in Egyptologist Glenda Spencer (Julie Christie), to examine the artifacts and trying to establish who the mummy really where and its name.

Lisa (Sophie Marceau) is an ordinary girl living across the street from the museum, together with her grandma Geneviève (Patachou). One evening they get an electrical problem and call for electrician Martin (Frédéric Diefenthal) who has helped them before when in trouble. When fixing the problem in the basement, Lisas cat runs off and they have to follow it and end-up in the museum after closing time. Will they be discovered by the guards? Lisa and Martin gets separated and Lisa accidentally discovers the mummy in the basement. Things happen and after that evening neither Lisa nor anybody else understand why Lisa begins to visit the museum every night. At the same time strange things starts to happen at the museum, alarms going off now and then and people gets murdered and rumors amongst the guards begins to spread that there is a phantom called Belphégor on the loose. The chase to get this phantom begins but soon they will be aware of that getting Belphégor will not be as easy as they from the beginning thought. And when they finally do, they don't know what to believe, believe it!

Sophie Marceau is a masterpiece when playing the role of Lisa and Frédéric Diefenthal is equally good playing the role of the electrician and later on her boyfriend as well. It's wonderful to see Julie Christie in this french film playing Egyptologist not to mention the french Patachou playing Lisa's grandma.
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Better than I had imagined
nicholas.rhodes13 April 2001
I went to this one to please my wife who being French knew "Belphégor", from her youth, but half expected to sleep through part of it ! It seems that Belphégor was the subject of a supposedlly frightening 1960's TV serial starring Juliette Greco ( by the way in this film we see a glimpse of J G floating around the Père Lachaise - shades of Robert Mitchum in the remake of Cape Fear !! ). I have no idea what the 1960's serial was like but this film was quite entertaining, with good special effects and an American quality rather than a French Quality script, i.e. more entertaining, though the actors were all French with the exeption of Julie Christie who is English. Picture quality is good and the lighting effects of the Pyramide du Louvre were put to good use. The music and general sound effects are not bad either though a bit noisy for me at times. The film is therefore quite entertaining but with no special surprises. Sophie Marceau was better than usual, less haughty and I absolutely loved Mr Balmer as the museum curator. On the other had, allergic though I am to Michel Serrault, I found that in this film his performance was more subdued, less theatrical and therefore more bearable than in other films he has made, for example " Le Viager ". He even managed to come up with some genuinely humorous lines ! I think, as an Englishman, that this film should globally please international audiences without nevertheless leaving an indelible impression in their cinematic memories !!
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