• Lost Highway (1997)

     

    Attention: This thing is not a simple movie, it is an art - surreal art! And surreal art may disturb, irritate or make people commit suicide! This film may be difficult to watch for normal popcorn cinema movie watchers, but for people who are ready to really think and discuss about a movie even after they've quit the cinema or turned off their television and who are ready to watch this film again and again, it will be a pure pleasure to watch this movie. I know many people who find this movie too long, too complicated, too boring and if you're waiting for some action, a lot of suspense and an explosive beginning, you should not even watch it. This is not just a movie, it's an art! And this movie works like a painting that you watch again and again in a museum and where you would like to analyse what the painter wants to express with its creation. It takes its time, but it's worth the wait and surely precious.

    The movie begins in a slow paced way and works a lot with its dark, weird and haunting atmosphere. Weird music, the filming of dark floors without an end or empty rooms, the lack of dialogs in the beginning may irritate the viewer but every detail has a certain role and a certain reason to be shown in this movie. Everything seems so slow and when the film really starts, you're all of a sudden in it and it all comes too quick, too strange and you might not be able to concentrate on the essential things.

    Anyway, what is the essential thing about this movie? What does David Lynch want to show us or make us learn? Or is the sense of it all that there is absolutely nothing to learn? The movie plays with our feelings, our thoughts, our expectations and always presents something unexpected. And everyone may interpret the unexpected in a different way or maybe not at all.

    Now wait, this may be the key to this movie: Expect the unexpected! And watch this movie several times! Who is who and why and when does a person appear and disappear? Which person is the opposite of another person in this movie? Who is friend or foe with whom and why? Or why does it change throughout the movie? There are a lot of things that you could analyse and compare and even after having watched this movie at least five times, I still find new elements, new keys to a possible hidden treasure in this movie and I am now able to build up my own theory of the movie. But I won't tell you and I would give you the advice to not look for possible answers on wikipedia or movie websites because this movie is personal for everyone and before you may look for other opinions, you shall at least have watched the movie a couple of times. You must watch it in tranquility. When you watch this movie and the phone is ringing - you're out of it even if you don't think so! If you watch the movie and your girlfriend is bored and wants you to do other things with you - you're out of it! If you watch this on television and there is a commercial break - you're out of it! Just sit down and watch, take a break from everything for two hours and a half.

    And let it all come to you. The dark and strange atmosphere. The strange music, containing dark classical arrangements, heavy modern jazz music, pop music and even industrial metal - the music always fits to the certain situation. The three mysterious video cassetts and their strange and terrible content. The mysterious break and change of the main character in the movie. The allusions and antithesis between the first and the second part of the movie. The thin path between reality and illusion, the question of dreaming or being awake. The femme fatale and the mystery man. The murderer who doesn't want to be a murderer. The connection between the beginning and the end of the movie. There is more than a lot to discover! This movie is somehow a psycho or mystery thriller with some action and pornographic elements. There are even three movies in one: a dark and atmospheric thriller, a strange romantic road movie story and a little short movie which connects the other two elements throughout the film. This movie is certainly different from everything you have ever seen before.

    It is sure that this movie is not the one which may have received ten Oscars, the best critics or the most attention. This movie is over the top, beyond a normal movie, beyond any critics, beyond any prices like Oscars. This is an uneasy watch and feels real and even surreal.

    Are you open-minded, concentrated, introspective, philosophic and intellectual enough to give this movie a try? Try it, prove it to yourself! And be sure to live an experience that you may like or dislike but which is different from any other one. Personally, this one is at least in the top 5 of my all time favourite movies! If you like it, don't try to look somewhere else for something similar. Discover the works of David Lynch and watch "Mulholland Drive". Or maybe a simple movie isn't enough? Try all the episodes of the "Twin Peaks" series! You try to be arrogant and you would say that you like the movie but you think that is not surreal enough and even too simple? Than, go for "Eraserhead"!

     

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  • 5150, Rue des Ormes (2009)

     

    This is one of the best horror or psycho thrillers that I have seen in a while and also one of the best Canadian/Quebecker movies in the last years. The movie is based on the novel by Patrick Senécal, his novels "Evil words" (in french: "Sur le seuil") and "7 days" (in french: "Les 7 jours du talion") have also been adapted for the cinema.

    The story seems to be quite classic and simple: A young student has an accident with his bicycle in the new town where he wants to study as he is crossing a black cat. He wants to get help and rings at 5150 on Elm Street - the biggest mistake of his life! When he comes in, he hears somebody screaming in a room upstairs and he discovers that this guy is bleeding and suffering. But before the student can quit the scenery, he is discovered and imprisoned at the same place while the other poor guy doesn't survive. The young student is caught for months and his escape plans don't seem to work. He is filming his life in the small room and becomes somehow a member of the strange family: Jacques Beaulieu, the brutal, but very intelligent and charismatic father and taxi driver who is fighting the "evil one's": He tortures and kills old guys abusing children or young drug dealers. He is also a chess master and creates his "own" chess game in the basement: with dead bodies: his victims representing the black army and the good people (he is taking the bodies of dead social workers etc. from the cemetery) representing the white army. The young student has to prove that he belongs to the good or bad one's and finally Jacques Beaulieu offers a deal to the young guy: If he will beat him in a chess game and win with the black army, Jacques Beaulieu will accept and recognize that he was wrong and that the evil forces are stronger and liberate the student and so the games begin...

    Maude Beaulieu, the shy and silent mother who is afraid of her husband but who doesn't have the courage or abilities to stop him. He is suffering every day and her husband has even beaten her when she was pregnant. The young student tries to become somehow her friend and to use her to escape, but Maude takes the right decision way too late.

    Michelle Beaulieu, the eldest daughter is a sadistic, emotional and brutal girl and sometimes even more radical as her father, as she is making the young student suffer against the father's will. But when she has to prove that she is able to take the heritage of her father and to continue the battle against the evil persons, she isn't tough enough and becomes more and more disturbed.

    Anne Beaulieu, the youngest daughter, is somehow retarded and doesn't speak a single word. She has been beaten by her father in her mother's womb and apart of her mother, no one shows or gives her any love and she doesn't have any friends. She hates her father who is making her mother and herself suffering and even tries to kill him while the father wants to get her out of the house and in an isolated and therapeutic kindergarten.

    All those characters have their one personality and are brilliantly played. The movie is very close to reality and the brutal or horrifying scenes are rare, but when they come, they are really heavy and disgusting because they are so real. The movie has a dark atmosphere and every actor gives his best and his soul to this movie. A part of the family members, the main actor also begins to change and becomes more and more a strange freak who doesn't want to escape anymore - but who has found the sense of his life in wanting to beat the father and murderer in the final chess game as the armies of dead will finally be completed in a terrible way.

    The end of the movie is really disgusting and disturbing, so expect the worst: Patrick Senécal wants to show the evil, dark sides of the people, the things that lie underneath the surface and he does it in a brutal consequence and nobody gets out of his created nightmare in a good way! That's what makes this movie intense and disturbing - and different from so many other movie of the genre. This one here is really innovating and hardcore and maybe not as easy to watch for everyone because of its strong relation to reality.

    As you can read, this movie really surprised me and I think it's a genre highlight. The atmospheric horror grows with every minute of the movie and the grande finale is worth the wait! I just gave nine points because the basic story idea is quite simple and because the novel seems to be even more intense. Even if I told you now a lot about characters and story - the movie will still surprise and touch you! This movie should be more popular outside of Quebec too. So spread the words and have some fun with this movie: Welcome to Senécal's world of nightmares!

    Don't read any longer: watch it!

     

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  • Hide And Seek (2005)

     

    This movie is a quite watchful and atmospheric psycho thriller (rather than a horror movie) that presents nothing really new but does a quite good job and may not only satisfy the genre fans with its dark vibes and twisted ending. Many critics say that the end is too predictable but that is wrong because even if you get the solution out, you're still left with doubts as there are still many possibilities. The original ending of the movie is the most interesting one while the alternative endings are all very similar and not really as dramatic or dark as expected.

    Concerning the actors, one has to say that Robert DeNiro is not convincing me at one hundred percent, it is more the young Dakota Fanning who plays her role in an impressive way even if the screenplay for her role is a little bit too much orientated at the genre's classics like "The Exorcist" or "The Amityville Horror". The film, especially the role of Emily, has also some similarities to "The orphanage" but this movie was done two years after this one, so it is clear who inspired who, but as I've seen "The orphanage" before this one, there was a little déjà-vu effect but I have to admit that "Hide and seek" is the better one of the two movies.

    All in all, this is an interesting and entertaining atmospheric movie with a lot of dark vibes and an interesting twist in the end. It is quite watchful although there are no real new, impressive or innovating elements in this film. A film that you could see and might enjoy for an evening, but clearly not a classic or must have movie.

     

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  • Eastern Promises (2007)

     

    I watched this film because of the well known actors and the interesting story involving a Russian background which interests me a lot.

    But except of a shocking opening scene, a nice fight scene in the sauna and as always a charming Naomi Watts (though she acts way better in most of her other movies), there is nothing special that was still on my mind after watching this film.

    To be honest, the film is quite a deception. The story is boring and not touching at all, there are no surprising twists in the movie, everything is quite predictable, the actors are left way beyond their professional possibilities, there is nothing special about the way the movie was directed, nothing touching about the atmosphere (a film has not a Russian flow because some of the actors are speaking Russian or have strange and exaggerated stereotypical accents!). The film is quite ordinary and has no philosophy. There is no clear object of the movie, it wants to be a thriller (though you know who has murdered whom), a movie about Russian mafia (showing many clichés but nothing new) mixed with some emotional elements (which stay superficial and not really convincing).

    All in all, I can really not recommend this movie to anyone, this one is okay to watch it one time, but it already has some lengths and a second viewing (or the purchase of this one as a DVD or Bluray) would be a complete waste of time and money.

    If you would like to watch a movie about Russian cultural and the country's dark side go for "Archangel", "Transsiberian" or the more historical "Defiance". If you'd like to see more of Naomi Watts, you must have seen the brilliant "Mullholland Drive".

     

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  • Sherlock Holmes (2009)

     

    This film is one of the best ones of the year 2009! First of all, it creates a charming and interesting atmosphere in beautiful words and images flavoured with great special effects in an ancient London.

    Second, the main actors are doing a great job, they are really cool, charming and have their unique forces and advantages and personal mistakes or disadvantages.

    Third, the story presents a lot of really interesting twists, very intelligent ideas and mysterious events which are all revealed in a logical and stunning way in the end which creates a really good tension.

    Fourth, the movie is in the key of the legendary character on which were based many really solid books and movies, but it is much more than a copy as it is presents quite refreshing, authentic and modern characters and not an old-fashioned adaption. The movies balances between traditions, the cult established around the characters and a modern blockbuster with refreshing actors and atmosphere. That's quite courageous and may not be pleasant for the more traditional viewers and old fans of the books or movies, but it is innovating, interesting and opens this fantastic world to a younger public. Sherlock Holmes and Co. still exists in the twenty-first century and they are stronger than ever.

    Go and watch this movie as traditional cults and refreshing elements are mixed to a brilliant and diversified movie! And let's wait for a possible sequel!

     

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