Thursday, August 23, 2012

CALVAIRE (aka THE ORDEAL) (2004) review

Calvaire (aka The Ordeal) (2004) d. du Welz, Fabrice (Belgium)

This rare genre offering from Belgium presents a few novel twists on the well-worn “travelers off the beaten path” trope. After his car breaks down en route to the next holiday gig, low-rent crooner Laurent Lucas stumbles into a backwards backwoods community devoid of women. Taking shelter at Jackie Berroyer's nearby inn, he soon finds himself captive in a nightmarish scenario that manages to surprise and unnerve without resorting to eviscerations. Kudos to director du Welz, who co-wrote the script with Romain Protait, for his skillful evocation of dread-filled atmospherics, as well as one of the strangest dance sequences ever to pass through a camera lens. Watch for appearances from Eurobabe Brigette Lahaie and High Tension’s Phillipe Nahon.

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