It Came from the Box #8: Franceland is Fucked Up

After starting with Japan, I continue to bring some international flavor to this place; I look into a trio of French horror movies.  You may think they’re all about wine, cheese, love and surrendering but that’s not all they’re good at.  They’re good at making some intensely gory and disturbing flicks. 

                                

Spoiler alert!  Sometimes it’s just impossible to write a review without giving away important details.  These movies are very difficult to go over without revealing too much, but I really wanted to get these out there for people to see and discover for themselves.  So bare with me as I give away possibly too much story for the sake of going ga-ga over these movies.

 

 

martyrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:  A ten-year old girl, bruised and bloodied, escapes from a house and eventually is found and put into foster care not saying who did these things to her only talking to another girl her age.  Fifteen years later, she has some serious demons and is looking for revenge and brings her friend along to help.  But revenge is only the beginning.

 

Review:  Such an interesting yet strange movie.  It’s almost as if it were two movies in one.  The first half deals with Lucie, the little girl who was abused and seeks revenge when she grows up.  She sees demons who always try to tear her apart.  Her friend, Anna, has been helping her since she arrived at the orphanage.  You begin to think it’s one of those movies where she might be seeing things or she’s just crazy.  Lucie eventually arrives back at the house where she was tortured and takes the entire family out with a shotgun.  Thinking the demons will go away after killing them, she still sees something and Anna finally starts to think she might be crazy after all.  Lucie loses it and slits her throat.  Sounds like the end, but it’s only the beginning

 

m1

Really, you don't want to take that off.

 

A mysterious convoy of people show up trying to figure out what was going on and take Anna hostage.  An elderly woman, who only goes by the name Mademoiselle, explains to Anna just what they were doing with Lucie.  She was to be martyred.  She shows Anna various pictures of women who were tortured and beaten beyond belief, all for a singular purpose.

 

m2

Where's your, uh, skin?

 

I’ve described quite a bit of the movie, but I hope people will find there’s more to it than what I’ve written.  It’s really messed up.  The movie takes you in several directions before deciding where to go in the end, and you’ll be guessing until the very end just what on earth you’ve gotten into.  The initial opening with the family getting gut shot with a shotgun spilling blood and entrails all over the place is only the start. 

 

Overall:  It’ll suck you in until the end, give it a shot as long as you can deal with subtitles.

 

Rating:  8/10

 

 

 

ht

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:  Two young women, Marie and Alex, are going to Alex’s parents’ place for the weekend.  However, a serial killer in the neighborhood shows up and kills off Alex’s parents and kidnaps her.  Marie jumps into his truck in hopes of saving Alex.  However, there’s more to the serial killer and Marie than we think.

 

Review:  With much fanfare from Europe, this film came and went in limited release in North America before being slapped onto the direct to video shelves.  That’s a shame because now people are left to find it for themselves.  I guess that’s what I’m here for.

 

ht1

Ew, your mouth was open!

 

What starts off as a calm weekend is interrupted by a deranged killer who violently kills an entire family all in the name of getting their daughter for his sick pleasure.  The slaughter features probably one of the most gruesome decapitations I’ve seen in a while.  The killer puts the father’s head between some stair banisters, grabs a desk and rams it into his head, severing it from his body with a huge spurt of blood.  Crazy!  When the man is done, he takes Alex and throws her in his truck but Marie, who was hiding during all of the killing, grabs a knife and jumps into the truck with Marie.  Every stop features heart-thumping intensity, you never know what’s going to happen next.

 

Honestly, the only problem I had with his movie is that after the big twist at the end, you have a hard time believing what the writers want you to believe.  The ending, unfortunately, is a confusing mess that ruins an otherwise great thriller.

 

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"I've already seen that end of the knife, thanks."

 

The director, Alexandre Aja, certainly impressed some people with his twisted mind because he wound up directing the great remake of “The Hills Have Eyes.”  While he didn’t wind up doing the awful sequel, he did wind up doing the equally terrible “Mirrors” American remake.  Not even Kiefer Sutherland could help that one.  Still, I look forward to whatever else Aja has in store, because this is a great beginning for him.

 

Overall:  It’s an edge of your seat thriller with a bad ending.

 

Rating:  7/10

 

 

 

inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:  Months after her fiancée dies, Sarah is days away from giving birth to their child.  On Christmas Eve, though, she’s visited by a stranger who only wants one thing: her child who is still in Sarah’s womb.  One of the most disturbing movies I’ve seen ensues.

 

i2

Just...fucking...wow.

 

Review:  Yes, after all the movies I’ve seen, this one rattled me quite a bit.  It’s unforgiving in its violence; it never shies away from showing you what’s going on.  It makes you feel sick with the stranger caressing Sarah’s stomach with a long pair of scissors only to shock you minutes later as you see it be used to stab a man in the back of the knee, then the balls before finishing him off with it being stabbed in his face.  And never does the camera look away.  And that is just the start of what you’ll see, so consider this fair warning, it gets worse.

 

i3

Make it extra crispy, bitch!

 

The next hour or so is a desperate fight for Sarah and her unborn child against her attacker who takes no prisoners and doesn’t take it easy on anyone who enters the house.  Any time Sarah tries to get help she only winds up making it worse.  Once I became committed to this flick, no matter how bad it got, I couldn’t look away.  I was jolted several times at the intensity of the violence, it blew me away.  By the end of the movie, I had enough.  I was disturbed by what I saw; it got to me.  I’ve seen so many horror movies over the years, it takes a lot to get me, so for me to say “Inside” got me is, I hope, a bold statement to make.

 

Overall:  It’s not a movie that will be totally enjoyed, but if you’re looking for a movie that’ll shock you, this is definitely one.

Rating:  10/10

Shaun

Could be bringing you Italian horror next!

 

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