Friday, August 8, 2008
The Ordeal. I can't think of a more fitting title for this movie. Ordeal (noun) : any extremely severe or trying test, experience, or trial. That's precisely what this film is. A painful ordeal.
Calvaire (2004) kicks off with Marc Steven's, a singer, performing for a bunch of old folks. On his way home, his van breaks down and, thanks to the guidance of a creepy dude looking for his dog, finds his way to Bartel Inn, a remote shut off cabin in the woods. The inkeeper, Bartel, is creepy but nice seeming, and if you've ever seen a horror film in your life, you can tell where this is headed. To top it all off, everyone in town seems to think Marc is Gloria, the apparent former town slut. What the fuck!?
Dude's car breaks down. A creepy weirdo comes into play and guides dude to a creepy cabin run by a creepy guy. It's the typical horror film. That is, the typical horror film minus the remote sense of entertainment you usually get from the typical horror film. Calvaire is a complete and utter mess and waste of time that never comes together and never gives you the least sense of closure or enjoyment. There's not even much gore to satisfy you. A shitty horror movie that doesn't at least provide gore, why the fuck would you wanna watch that? You will get beastiality and homosexual rape, if you're into that.
European horror movies have been really entertaining of late. Mostly the French ones. While this is a Belgian film, the spoken language is French. High Tension, Inside, Frontier(s), Them...while flawed, the recent slew of French horror has been quite impressive. Well the buck stops here. Those looking for another solid foreign horror movie, look somewhere else. You're never really sure what's going on and quite frankly you never really care. If you don't believe me, you can check Calvaire out on Netflix in the instant watching section HERE
Now i'm sure if I went on Imdb and read all of the posts, i'd find some ridiculous explanation as to why this film is brilliant and how i'm a dumb fuck for just not getting it. But let's face it. This a shitty fuckin movie. Just because a movie is foreign and weird does not make it deep, it does not make it clever. There is no hidden meaning and if you try to tell me there is I will tie you up and force you to watch this movie over and over.
About the only thing of remote interest in the whole movie is the fact that Phillipe Nahon (High Tension, Irreversible) is in it. By the way, Calvaire literally translates to Calvary, which is the English language name given to the site where Jesus was crucified. Why didn't they just make that the English title rather then insult their own film with a name like the ordeal? Not that it matters. Stick to making beer, you silly Belgians. Speaking of beer, I need a few dozen of those to forget this experience.