Saint Ange (2004) Poster

(2004)

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10/10
Laugier = awesome
cg_regan8 October 2009
This is a film that made me question the existence of IMDb user comments. Seeing that it was the same director as Martyrs I decided to seek this film out, but then considered not bothering when I saw how generally bad the reviews here and elsewhere were. I'm really glad I ignored them and did watch it in the end.

The problem with House of Voices is that it asks the audience to do a bit of the work. The story and the meaning behind it are not immediately obvious, there is an element of the film that is open to interpretation. It requires a bit of patience and an audience willing to think about what they're watching. For some people, the majority it seems, this clearly drains any potential enjoyment from the film. For me, and for a few others who have posted reviews here, it's not a problem at all, it's what makes the film so good.

Aside from that there is a lot more to recommend here. The film looks beautiful, the performances are fantastic and there are some very effective scares generated with the help of a suitably creepy atmosphere. It is also truly unpredictable at times - something often missing from the modern horror film.

Overall this is a bold, well-produced and interesting film that should be seen by anyone bored of films made to a formula.
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6/10
Not nearly as bad as the IMDb comments suggest
ragingeric2 December 2007
From the tone of these comments you would think this was the worst film ever made (and a few comments say that literally). It wasn't as good as "The Others" and such, but the worst movie ever made? Please. It was incredibly well shot and the minimalist production design was a welcome break for me from hyper-stylized films like "Silent Hill". The story did take a long time to develop, but the tension built nicely and it had a very Argento feel to me. Not every movie has to be "Transformers", moving at Mach 10 from the first frame. There's a thing called "subtlety" in story telling that is not very prevalent in modern films (especially American movies), and since this film used that to a fault maybe that was why everyone reacted so poorly. It certainly didn't beat you over the head with plot points, and did feel like a key scene or two was left out of the final cut (setting up the kittens for example) but overall was a nice, spooky little film. Everyone's opinion is valid if course, and it's not anywhere near my favorite film, but I had to defend it for some reason. Maybe it's because there are so many TRULY bad films out there that need to be savaged, and I want everyone to save their venom for the movies that truly deserve it.
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7/10
Surprising, subtle, spooky film!
ryandannar21 October 2012
"House of Voices," the first feature film by Pascal Laugier, contains many of the elements that made his 2008 cult-classic "Martyrs" so great. Both films start off in a predictable, genre-specific way -- then gradually reveal darker, stranger, subterranean layers that defy our expectations. Of the two films, "House" is lighter fare, while "Martyrs" is far bloodier and much, much more disturbing.

"House of Voices," begins as a slow-build Gothic ghost-story, in the vein of 2007's "The Orphanage" or 2001's "The Others." "House" works quite well on this level, featuring engaging female performances, a slowly-unravelling mystery, some handsome cinematography, a lush dramatic score, and some moments of genuine dread. But then, in its final act, the film takes a sharp and surprising turn toward the surreal. I could describe what happens in these scenes, but what really makes them work is the way they're filmed -- the simple strange visual power of these moments. Suffice to say, while you might have a general idea where the plot of this movie is headed, you will probably not foresee exactly how it arrives there.

The final scenes of this movie plumb some nightmarish depths, departing stylistically from the subtle Gothic-horror which came before, and entering far stranger territory. Don't worry; it all adds up. This isn't one of those horror films which leads you on, only to end with such strangeness that you have no hope of understanding what the movie was about. No, everything here makes sense in terms of the film's plot. It's just that the film's sudden stylistic change is jarring and surreal, evoking the kinds of unexpected shifts we might experience in our deepest nightmares.

For me, this movie worked quite well. I see some others here have given it bad reviews. I gather that's because they don't know how to tell a thoughtful, well-made film from worthless pap like the "Saw" franchise. This certainly isn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it's a very fine, thoughtful, moderately scary film with a bizarre final act that might haunt you afterward.

If you like this film, and you have a strong stomach, I'd certainly recommend Laugier's "Martyrs." It plays the same stylistic tricks as this film, but much more intensely, and to greater effect. Word of warning, though: It is a far more disturbing film than "House of Voices."
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10/10
Did I watch another movie?
christian-25414 May 2009
For the life of me, I cannot understand the fierce and almost resentful nature of many of the opinions given here. I was fully prepared to see another one of those over-blown affairs that put style over substance and usually bore me to bits after 15 minutes or so of their „Amélie"-type smugness and undeserved self-confidence. In fact. SAINT ANGE is a very careful, very sensitive story of a young woman who struggles with her feelings about her impending motherhood. The ending made perfect sense to me, whether read as a ghost story of sorts or a paranoid fantasy. The actresses are uniformly excellent, particularly Virginie Ledoyen and Lou Doillon, as is Catriona MacColl, who you might still remember from those colorful Fulci extravaganzas from the early eighties. The splendid photography makes good use of the grey and cold blue colours of the orphanage, which is embedded in green and brown tones – Mother Nature. The fantasy ending also introduces a clinical white for good measure. In view of the many cinematic exercises of today that talk their subtexts to death, SAINT ANGE uses a formal elegance that is breath-taking. Actually, I didn't find one single frame that was superfluous. In a way, the film also shares several themes with Laugier's well-received and harrowing MARTYRS, as it is basically another – albeit more tender – tale of a bruised young woman under dire circumstances. The ending of MARTYRS can also be read as a paranoid fantasy, with traces of hope hidden in a complex framework of depressing human depravity. No, I liked SAINT ANGE a lot. And, by the way, Joe Lo Duca – who started with Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD – delivered a haunting and memorable music score. An excellent movie.
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1/10
God awful
samago278619 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Out of the awful movies I've rented over the years, I seriously can not think of one that was worse than Saint Ange. There was essentially no plot whatsoever in this film. The girl arrives and we learn she is pregnant. All fine, but then we see Anna trying to inflict a miscarriage. OK, fine again. But then, what in the world is the significance of her voyage, to what seems like hundreds of feet below ground. The underground ward is in in seemingly immaculate condition and is home to a bunch of bald children. We see Anna go into labor. OK again. Well so how is she able to get back up to the main level. Maybe there is no answer to this question but surely there should be an explanation for why she IS found back on the main level, dead, clutching her still connected child??? If the movie was not terrible enough, in the last disturbing scene, we get to see a dead Anna nursing her dead child with the dead bald children observing. If anyone has any clarifications on any of these points I would love to hear about it.
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1/10
What twist ending? This was misleading and unethical advertising of an awful movie
quiwi25 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The good part of all this was I rented it for free. The bad part was that I was forced to watch the movie and review it for work. I have never disliked my job more than when I was watching this.

What irritated me the most about the DVD package and the movie's summary was that it talked up a twist ending. What twist ending? What a bloody joke! The identity of the cats killer was so obvious and seeing the dead mother with the dead child she refused and wanted to kill surrounded by the dead kids at the end was ludicrous beyond comprehension.

The haunted house did not look so special. I've seen much better production design in other movies. The acting was grade school calibre at best. The Beach girl Virginia Ledoyen and that daughter of Jane Birkin Lou Doillon were the two main actors and they mostly overacted their way through this, with Ledoyen getting special mention for underachieving. She is the protagonist yet she is very difficult to sympathize with. I realise her character's baby was a result of a rape but her trying to force a miscarriage and yet getting curious about the dead kids makes no sense at all, certainly in regards to the plot, which itself is dead as a ghost. Perhaps with a better actress, the movie might have been slightly better or at the very least tolerable and watchable, but with Ledoyen, the movie descends even deeper into the pit of stupidity. I noticed she is an actress who looks and acts the same in every movie.

Last but not the least, for a movie in this genre, it was not thrilling nor horrifying. It was boring, colourless and tasteless.
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1/10
Empty, meaningless and utterly boring
growl29 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Someone asked how this movie ever got made. I've worked on French movies made in collaboration with Canada and vice versa and I know the state funds all of these movies. The process is simple and all you need to get the movie made is for it to be in French and/or with French actors. That's all. You could have a stupid script and a nobody director and they'll still make it because people at the culture ministry don't care about the quality, as long as "the French culture is preserved in movies." That's the only requirement. Having said that ...

I just saw "Saint Ange" and have come to the conclusion that this state system only guarantees that we get to see more bad movies from France. We have bad movies coming from Quebec too let me tell you, but none as low or as horrible as "Saint Ange."

This is not a slasher horror movie. It does have blood and zombies and deaths, but it is not scary in the slightest. In fact, it really isn't anything but a slapdash of scenes that drag on with incoherence and boredom. You would be more entertained at the Disneyland Haunted House attraction than sitting through this.

There are no stars and no great actors in this movie, but most horror movies are known for having no-names or amateurish wannabe actors who can't act anyway. "Saint Ange" is no exception. Ledoyen is better known for her L'Oreal advertisements, and Doillon is better known for her Morgan advertisements. "Saint Ange" is like the French version of "House of Wax" in terms of quality but it's even a lot worse because it takes itself seriously. When a below average movie tries to take itself too seriously, then it only becomes worse.

The psychological aspects of the story were shallow but were explained thoroughly in my opinion. I think the confusion lies more in the director's total lack of discernment in the story. He does not know whose story he wants to tell, and how he wants to tell it. The characters are all one- dimensional and the plot was recycled.

The acting was absurd overall. But I will give some recognition to Lou Doillon who plays Judith the orphan. She acted the part with ease and her English was the most comprehensible of the entire cast. In fact, I could only understand Doillon and Catriona McColl, because the English of Virginie Ledoyen and that other actress who plays the cook were so heavily accented that I had to turn on the English subtitles whenever they started to speak.
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3/10
Vaccum movie with some effective silly scenes.
cicerobuck5 July 2004
First off, this is supposed to come out as a treat for fans of Fulci's The Beyond (it even features the return of its star Catriona MacColl) and his other gloomy films. So it's got nice locations (romanian studios), pretty minimal as the whole movie takes place in a great mansion supposed to be a WWII orphanage, its narrowing woods and cellars. Cast is pretty top notch with kinky Virginie Ledoyen (L'Eau Froide, La Cérémonie, La fille seule - her only good movies in my opinion - The Beach) and wacko Lou Doillon (Jane Birkin's daughter - one of the most irritating actress to come out of french cinema lately, but physically disturbing and therefore probably appropriate for this movie!).

Beautiful photography, gloomy atmosphere, weird and nasty children (kinda reminiscent of the evil ones in Cronenberg's The Brood, but not really either), derelict locations, potential scream queens, this movie shows good production values but sadly remains pretty lazy storywise. I won't describe the story too much, but after a pretty classy/classic (easy) hour of ghost induced story, the movie goes wacko and tries to become a bit disturbing. Unfortunately, even if the scenery and filming shows you some very weird and dare I say effective clinical & morbid images (the only part giving the movie a little of its own personality), those images bears no real depth and fall flat in utter stupidity! So even though I admire the plastic quality of the last half hour, I remain highly skeptical in its capacity to convey an interesting story falling back on its feet without relying on weirdness because the lazy writer(s?) have no real vision of the story as a whole. Also, the twist revelation about the cats killer's identity is really lame. Sadly, another example of France incapacity to produce thoughtful and provocative fantasy...

Think a mixture of Furie's "The Entity", Robert Wise's "The Haunting" with Fulci's "The Beyond" and Chris Cunningham's clinical imagery.

Just one's opinion.

4/10
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1/10
Such a bad movie, and not even a "good" bad movie .......
cmoi2c6 June 2005
Where should I begin? I know, the script, which is where the writer-director should have begun when he started this piece of crap! There is no story, the plot is weak, and the ending is frustrating because the director Pascal Laugier has no idea what he is doing.

The first five minutes are the best part of the movie, and everything else goes downhill quickly from there. Technically, it's not a bad movie. But everything else is so awful. I would have given this movie a zero, but 1 is the lowest score available on IMDb.

Even the worst Hollywood movies have more of a storyline than "Saint-Ange" and what in the world happened to Virginie Ledoyen? Why is she doing crappy horror movies like this? "The Beach" looks like a masterpiece compared to the trash of "Saint-Ange" !

If you want to see a good horror movie with better acting and directing and plot, go see "Haute Tension" by Alexandre Aja. He's a talented French director who knows what he is doing.

Pascal Laugier should go back to directing making-of videos for Christophe Gans. It's where he belongs.
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1/10
Yet another unoriginal horror copycat that fails miserably
dilbertsez24 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe I wasted time watching this. I decided to spend a few minutes to prevent other viewers from wasting their precious time and making a mistake renting this horrible movie.

First of all, It took me no less than 4 sittings to get through the whole movie. It was paced so slow and nothing really significant happens. It was like the director or writer (I think it's the same person) didn't know how to fill up space to make it a feature. In fact, everything in this movie could have been told in a 10 minute short film. It was very predictable probably because we've seen all this before. The scenes with the dead bald children with zombie eyes were unbelievably bad. The acting was horrible, the lines were laughable and the directing was clearly poor. There was practically no script to this thing.

Second of all, it was not scary nor was it smart enough to pose as a cheap thriller. It was even comedic at times and the only fun part was figuring out all the other movies the director stole from and obviously copied to make this.

Third, the ending in the white basement and all the dead kids rising from the tub was an example of pure crap and distastefulness. The girl screaming and giving birth on the floor with all the zombie children watching her was one of many terribly filmed scenes in this movie. The audio was bad and the SFX was lousy and cheap.

Fourth, I watched part of the behind the scenes and the director seemed to know how to waste time and the production's money and fool around on the set rather than make a real movie. I would hate to be the producers of the movie watching the monkey of a director they hired waste money trying to get his actors and crew people throw a stupid flashlight into a candy glass mirror. And all he did was laugh like an imbecile. I didn't get it. Maybe I need to be French to get the joke. And did we really need to sit thru 5 minutes of this part in the behind the scenes video? Doubt it.

Lastly, I know it's from a first time director so mistakes are normal. However there are no excuses for something this bad. How did this get made anyway? I've read it's because France is socialist and has very low standards when it comes to giving money to their movies. They'll make any movie as long as it's French because they hate Hollywood so much. Finally, I noticed this movie ripped off a couple of scenes from another French movie called "High Tension" that was released in France in spring 2003, right before "Saint Ange" started shooting. This is another example of more pathetic stealing from the makers of this movie.
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1/10
Why bother?
Monstro-3822 June 2005
OK, I agree with most of the comments here but really the music of Joseph Lo Duca was not so bad. It was I think the best part of this banal movie.

But for everything else? Absolute merde, as you French say. True, people here also fell asleep or walked out of the movie, which happens all the time with all the bad movies, even with 'special events' movies with the director and actors present, Italians are not shy to walk out or snore loud if they believe the movie is bad. We care of course but we are more honest about our feelings.

When this movie ended, I had to go home and watch some real movies in my DVD collection just to cleanse myself of the disaster that is called "Saint Ange" and also it seemed much much longer than it's running time. It was more like watching a 3 hour movie probably because nothing was happening in the plot and I kept looking at my watch and waiting for the finale which is also hopeless and stupid but not surprising considering the rest of this movie was just as miserable.
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10/10
Do you love psychological horror? do you enjoy tension? then this is a movie for you.
camila-274 September 2009
Seriously, what's wrong with you? this movie is so underrated, it has OK acting, Lovely music... and a plot which at some point certainly makes you wonder what just happened, BUT.. it's NECESSARY in order to accomplish the movie's goal, some of you need to understand that inside the genre of horror it doesn't always take a blood bath or a faceless and brainless killer who strangely teleports all around cutting everyone's head off and has more lives than a cat to actually be scared, that formula just DOESN'T work anymore with some of us.

Before you watch a movie, you have to know what's coming, I mean, if you're going to watch like a Fantasy film, you cannot therefore be like.. 'Wtf?! that's not real, I'm wasting my time.. that's so out of reality!' This isn't the type of horror where you can expect massive murder or an specific situation that says 'HERE'S WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SCARED' Nope, this is a psychological thrill where you take an important roll on developing the characters and the stuff that takes place, since certain situations can vary a lot depending on how the viewer analyzes it.. and that goes right from the start to the very ending on this movie.

So, to sum up I gave this film a 10 because it's extremely under rated and it needs to go up a little, I wouldn't say it's a master piece either, but it would pretty much deserve at least a 7.

Another movies you could like if this one was OK to you? Might want to have a look to Silent hill, Jacob's ladder, The others.
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1/10
Honestly, this was pure crap
pintoguiness23 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I confess, I did not heed the warnings. I just saw this movie and frankly, it could be used as an example of what NOT to do when making a movie.

Virginie Ledoyen (The Beach) plays a maid sent to clean up an abandoned orphanage. Her character is supposed to have a mysterious past but we already know what it is because it is revealed quickly. This French actress, who once had a promising career in the mid-90's but has since gone down into the gutter, does a terrible job in this film, which is suffice it to say, the worst film she has ever done. Granted she's done only 2 good films in her entire 20 year career. But you can't blame her completely for this movie because she wasn't given much to work with.

Lou Doillon (Blanche) plays the oldest orphan who has to stay there because she is too troubled and too old to leave. Her performance I liked. She played the mystery more effectively than Ledoyen whose acting is very flat and dull. Doillon on the other hand, is a more convincing and talented actress with great potential. The daughter of famous parents, Doillon brings great sympathy to her character.

The director is apparently a former assistant who was given a break by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf) whose judgement as a producer I severely question if he passes out these favours to his undeserving friends. The directing of this movie was incredibly poor and the script was even worse. Not much more to say except that for the audience's sake, let us hope this is the last movie we see from the director of Saint Ange.

I won't even go into the zombie children and the cheap thrills that this movie tries to achieve but the ending was as bad as can be expected after sitting through the rest. This is clearly a B-movie but we still come to expect some quality and redeeming virtues from B-movies. Saint Ange has none of the above.
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1/10
What is this movie? Not scary, not entertaining but BAD and BORING!
eltoreogran13 June 2005
When I watch a movie, I like to be entertained. When I watch a horror movie, I like to be scared. With "Saint Ange" I got nothing, I only got bored and mad at myself for wasting my money and time! Every person in the theater with me was also very upset. I counted maybe five people walked out, and everybody whistled in disgust when the movie ended. I think they tried to ask for their money back. I stayed because I did not want to waste my money, but now I think I should have walked out too!

What to say of the acting? Well there is no dialogue really, and the only dialogue that was there was very poor and stupid, even in translation. The actresses in this movie are usually good in other movies but they were very bad in this one, because of the terrible script, the silly dialogue and the awful director. I almost wished they were killed off in the beginning, so they would not have to go through the rest of this boring movie the way the audience was forced to.

What to say of the story? Nada! It's a big zero! It tries to copy "The Others" ("Les Otros") by Amenábar but this "Saint Ange" is just too awful it is not even worthy to compare it. With Amenábar, you get a good story, good thrills, good acting, good movie. With this Laugieri, you get nothing but a silly, boring, bad movie with nothing memorable. It is full of clichés and predictability's.

There is one scene where the director tries to scare you but it only makes you laugh. That is when you know you are watching a really bad movie: it is when you are not scared in the places you are supposed to be scared, and instead you laugh or whistle. I was not moved at all in this movie and neither will you.

I give this movie zero stars because it is really the worst movie I have seen in a very long time.
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1/10
This was lamentable
bidonine26 October 2005
I saw this 2 months ago and I do not remember seeing anything so terrible in a long while.

It seems a lot of people found this movie confusing. I thought it was explained OK but like some one here said, the explanation for a pointless story becomes nul. So in the end, you are left in your seat wondering how to retrieve the time you unwisely spent watching this movie.

The only redeemable part of this movie is the set decoration. I like the haunted house, even though it obviously looks like a movie set and also looks very typical of all the haunted houses in other horror movies.

The acting was lamentable. Ledoyen and Doillon are B grade French actresses who are suited for this B movie. The actresses who played the older maid and the schoolmistress were the only ones who could act convincingly.

The directing was terrible. I got the impression that this director cheats a lot, not just with all his "borrowing" from other movies but also with his bad script. I can't defend any "subtlety" this movie had because there really was none.

I also spotted several technical mistakes, but the biggest mistake of all in "Saint Ange" was the movie itself and the fact that it was even made. I prefer to watch Asian horror films which are smarter and better made, because honestly even the worst and corniest of Asian films is much better than this French film.
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10/10
Not bad at all.
jyrgen75519 January 2008
I was really shocked when I saw that the average rating for this film was only 4.5/10. I think people didn't like it because they didn't understand or even try to understand it, not because they're stupid or anything but because they're just not into films like this. Anyway,I think it's unfair to give it a 1/10 rating even if you didn't enjoy it at all, because the film is not badly done and it might mean a lot to people who like that kind of films. I personally enjoy watching films that don't tell the whole story and where you have to figure some parts out yourself. People like to be entertained and that's why Saint Ange is not for everyone. I've heard people say that it was not scary at all... IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE SCARY(at least not in the usual way), IT'S A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER RATHER THAN A HORROR FILM, IT'S Supposed TO MAKE YOU THINK!!! I admit that Saint Ange is not the best film of it's kind, but it's a pretty good one. I just recently saw The Ring and I was very disappointed to see that it's IMDb rating was 7.3/10. The only good thing about The Ring was Naomi Watts. If anyone asked me to compare the two films, I'd say that Saint Ange is far more superior even though the IMDb ratings and comments say the exact opposite. The bald kids in Saint Ange were way more scarier than Samara in The Ring. Saint Ange is not perfect, but I'll give it a 10/10 only because of it's criminally low IMDb rating
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9/10
Brilliantly produced, cleverly designed
God-123 September 2007
I'm not usually keen on horror films which have hints of the supernatural. However this has so much style and elegance that I can't but delight in it.

Yes, it is a horror film, so, yes, it follows some of the conventions. However, it is so much above most of the rubbish that it is a real gem. This is one worth watching again, and probably again.

Naturally, if you can't cope without being spoon-fed mawkish pap, then this is not for you.

It leaves some nice resonances afterwards to think about.

The atmosphere is deeply absorbing.
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1/10
Good trailer, bad movie
bramhelsing13 June 2005
I only watched this movie because the trailer looked interesting. This movie just came out here in Spain last week and I am sure it will be gone before next weekend.

While I was watching, I thought this must be a joke. A movie can not possibly be this bad! Sorry but yes, a movie can be this bad. The joke was on me and the other two people inside the theatre with me because it only got worser as the movie continued. And the ending was the stupidest ending I have seen in all of cinema.

This is the worst movie of the year. The plot was ridiculous, the music was too much and the acting was not good either. Lou Doilon was not bad, she was the most like her character. But I noticed that when Virginie Ledoyan cries, sometimes she looks like she is constipated, sometimes she looks like she is laughing.

This movie is a big disappointment, but I will be generous and give it 1 star out of 10.
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1/10
This is why the Americans make fun of us French !
WhyNotMince9 June 2005
Because we have directors who think they can make movies and try to copy American films but they fail miserably, just like Pascal Laugier with Saint-Ange.

If you are going to reference Italian horror directors that is OK, as long as you have a story. Yes you can be good with the technical parts of the film, but what good is that if there is no story to back it up? No good, which is exactly what this film is, a real piece of bull****!

I admit that Lou Doillon was not bad in the movie because honestly I am used to seeing her in bad films anyway. Virginie Ledoyen deserves better, the poor thing, why in the world is she stuck working with this lousy good-for-nothing director? She should return to Jacquot and Assayas, who are two intelligent French directors who KNOW how to make GOOD movies with REAL stories.

This impostor Pascal Laugier is just a former security guard who was an assistant to director and producer Christophe Gans (Le Pacte de loups) and did him favors which is how he got this job in the first place. He is a pseudo-director and even a worse writer. A 2 year old kid would have done a better job writing the script of this movie, which honestly does not exist because the plot makes no sense. Even Laugier himself admits to not knowing what is the ending, and I am not surprised at all because he is incompetent!

I am very sad for the state of French cinema if our new directors include talentless, brain-dead copycats like Laugier. If you are going to reference other films and even brag about it, at least try to do a good job copying them, please. Do not be a pretentious movie geek and try to make a movie that is not even there at the script level!

This Laugier even insulted other French film makers and comedy actors like Eric & Ramzy, when he should really look in the mirror first if he wants to see a bad film maker. Because at least the movies of Eric & Ramzy have a plot, are entertaining and make a lot of money! Saint-Ange has none of the above! It is boring, stupid and a big box-office flop!

The producers are also to blame for allowing this movie to get made. They probably think that because horror movies are en vogue right now that they can do a piece of crap and make enough money. Wrong!!!! Yes indeed you made a piece of crap but you did not make as much money as the American movies! This is what happens when you are motivated by pure greed and no sense of artistry or respect for the cinema. Next time, save some money and let your grandmother direct the movie, because she would probably do a better job than the idiot you hired for Saint-Ange.

But there is still hope for French cinema. I have not yet seen the films of Alexandre Aja but all my friends tell me that he is one million times better than this Laugier, and so is another French director Florent Emilio Siri who is talented and rising.

I am not surprised that this movie has not yet been released anywhere else outside Europe. What for? It is simply no good ! So what will happen is that all the countries that bought the rights will just let it go direct-to-video or to cable to break even on their costs.

I would advise you not even to spend one euro (or dollar) to rent this movie. Use your money to rent another good movie, like The Others or anything really, because any movie is better than Saint-Ange!

Rating : one-half star out of ten (one-half star for the movie's decor)
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8/10
Not everyone should review movies....
firefly253419 October 2012
I understand why some people decided to give this movie a low rating, but I do not believe this movie deserves a low rating. If you were looking for a "horror" film in the slasher, in-your-face, gory, bloody sense, then I can see how you were disappointed. But if that is your only definition of a scary movie, I don't think you should be reviewing movies. This movie had many good qualities, and I believe many people could enjoy it if they gave it a chance. Foreign horror movies have a very different approach, and if you can get on board with that, I think you will like this. If Saw IV is your idea of quality horror, don't bother.
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1/10
When bad movies happen to good people
edinburgh-224 October 2005
The result is something that resembles "Saint Ange" which is indeed so dreadful that it makes me feel shame and embarrassment for Ms. Ledoyen, Ms. Doillon and the other actors in this disgusting film.

I must say, I watched it because I appreciated the work of the actress that played Anna. She usually makes smart choices in her movies, but she clearly made the worst decision of her career by doing this movie. A bloke who saw this DVD with me joked that Ms. Ledoyen must have been hypnotized, cursed or even hexed to agree to making this movie. I didn't find it very funny at first but given the unfavourable downturn her career has taken after she made this movie, I'm starting to think it might be true.

I appreciate movies like "The Others" or stories like Turn of the Screw which somebody else had mentioned, but trust me, "Saint Ange" is nowhere near their level or category, not even close. "Saint Ange" is a low budget movie that does not even deserve to be seen in a 2 a.m. Friday night frightfest on the telly, much less on DVD or in theatres. That said, the budget makes no matter, because I have seen movies made for even less money that are far better than this awful movie. The problem with "Saint Ange" lies with the director who clearly is in over his head and is not fit for the job at hand. He quite obviously lacks the skill and talent needed to make a real movie.

If you fancy seeing a rehash of every horror scene, every haunted house thriller trick, and demented and sick scenes of innocent children in unpleasant situations, then this would be a movie for you to see. Otherwise, if you are a person of any good taste, morals or decency and appreciate true cinema and good stories, I would advise you to skip this at your local rental store or shopping centre and see another movie instead.
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1/10
Dire.... really really dire.
ajbird10 January 2006
Warning This film has no plot in fact I am sure that they have actually cut out the bits that explain what is actually happening.

It makes no sense. There was one tiny little slip in the few lines that are actually spoken which almost hinted at a plot. However, no more information was provided to build up on that.

There is no twist as there is no context in which a twist can take place! Save yourself 1.5 hours of your life!

I just feel that is was such a shame to pull all of these people together and spend so much time and money and not even manage to tell a coherent story. There could have been a good film here but it let the viewer down.
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5/10
Mediocre direction wastes movie's potential.
Akira-3623 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I just watched the movie two days ago. It is a disturbing movie with so much potential to go towards either a psychological or a supernatural direction. However, the direction and scripting were too mediocre to be able to achieve a satisfactory level.

STORY The story is set in the late 1950's at an orphanage in the French Alps. The plot revolves around Anna who is pregnant because she was gang-raped by her employees, or so it seemed. There is a scene where she had a nightmare, whereby for a couple of seconds, we see her being rendered unconscious in the company of 6-8 naked men.

This incident traumatised her and she can't accept her condition. In fact throughout the movie Anna shows her disgust towards her baby and even attempts to abort it in one scene. Ironically, she seems to be intrigued by the orphanage history of some dead children. The story progresses as we see Anna trying to decipher the mystery of these 'scary children', apparitions of child-ghosts that roam the old orphanage.

Through her ordeal, Anna befriends a mentally unstable girl by the name of Judith, who we later find out was one of the surviving 300 World War II orphans that were brought to St. Ange in 1946. Apparently these children were brought to the orphanage under dire conditions, and since there were only two 'lousy' doctors available, many of them didn't survive.

Again through Anna's mischievous curiosity, she and Judith manage to find a secret passage through the communal children bathroom into an abandoned children wing of the orphanage. Within this wing there is an elevator that goes several stories underground. Anna takes the elevator and comes out in an alternate dimension, whereby she arrives in a clean pseudo-experimental hospital. What she finds there is surreal, scary and disturbing.

It is likely that the orphanage is sitting on top of a Nazi experimental laboratory, where they performed experiments on Jewish children. Anna later gives birth to her stillborn baby with the help of the scary children. They both die in the process and become ghosts themselves.

WHAT I THINK There were a few goose-bumps throughout the middle section of the movie, but they failed to lift up my interest as it seemed the director didn't know which way to take the movie. And it certainly didn't help when the bulk of the running time was spent filming trivial scenes of Anna, where it was tempting to say that the director was more enamored with Virginie Ledoyen the actress, than progressing the story along a definite narration.

I think there was so much potential to the movie. Potentials for genuinely scary moments that could've been shot in the children communal bathroom, the hidden wing and specifically the underground lab/hospital. But frankly speaking, the movie probably satisfies Ledoyen's fans more than horror or drama moviegoers.
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4/10
What is going on????
emma-l-wootton2 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In brief, this was beautifully filmed and reasonably well acted but would someone please tell me what it is all about????? I was really enjoying this until she got into the lift to go into the basement (which incidentally seemed to be about 50 floors down!!) and arrived in some strange (remarkably clean seeing as it has been locked up for 15 years) sanitorium. Is this all in her mind? Did Judy know where she was going when she tried to stop her getting in the lift? There didn't seem to be many sightings or sounds of the 'scary children' that seem to be giving everyone sleepless nights. I loved the first half of the film and felt it had such great potential, then everything seemed to go downhill! Frustrated is the only word for it!!!
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1/10
Abominable in every single way
alexoid-217 January 2006
I won't waste too much time reviewing this movie as it seems nobody that actually worked on it did either. There's no pacing, scenes are just thrown in to make you wake up as the story gets unbearably boring. One of these 5 second "jump" moments is actually the only decent part of the movie. The music is badly timed and for some reason, very loud. The acting is just awful, nobody is believable, nobody has tangible motives. The end doesn't make any sense. Some people seem to be still thinking about it but shouldn't feel like they're missing in an "I didn't get Donnie Darko" (great film) way because there's just nothing to get. You keep hoping that this will have a payoff like The Others, even one which you can see coming, but it doesn't. The end is just rubbish put together to wrap the film up and when the credits appear you feel robbed. It would have made a bad 15 minute movie, but as a full length feature it's just sadistic.
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