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CALVAIRE aka THE ORDEAL
USA: Palm Pictures
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Luc Couchard, Brigitte Lahaie, Gig Coursigni, Philippe Grand'henry, Jo Prestia, Marc Lefebvre, Alfred David said Pingouin, Alain Delaunois, Vincent Cahay, Johan Meys said Rosto
Director: Fabrice Du Welz
Countries: Belgium / France / Luxembourg
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 90 mins
UK Certificate: 19 contains strong bloody violence
USA Release Date: 11 August 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 9 December 2005 (Limited Release - London, West End)
Imagine the local inhabitants of Royston Vasey and the good ol' boys from DELIVERANCE, relocated to the dark, wild forests of Belgian's Fagne's region.
Fabrice du Welz's darkly, surreal debut feature, which premiered at the Critics Week at Cannes in 2004, takes it's thematic and aesthetic inspiration from the 'survival' horror films of the 70's, such as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, DELIVERANCE, STRAW DOGS and THE WICKER MAN pitting an outsider in peril against a psychologically disturbed, isolated, local community.
Director of Photography Benoit Debie (Gaspar Noe's IRREVERSIBLE, Lucile Hadzihalilovic's INNOCENCE) captures the isolation of the landscape and the palpable sense of claustrophobia and increasing dread as Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas) realizes that all in the village is not what it initially seems.
Marc Stevens is a travelling singer. After finishing his afternoon gig at a nursing home, Marc packs up his stuff and hits the road. When his van breaks down in the middle of nowhere he is taken in by Bartel (Jackie Berroyer), a seemingly kind innkeeper.
However appearances can be deceiving and Mr Bartel has became psychologically fragile after his wife Gloria left him. Thus Marc's ordeal begins. His friendly host tries everything possible to make sure Marc extends his stay, perhaps never leaving...