Full Review: REVENGE (France 2017) ***1/2

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Revenge Poster
Trailer

Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

Director:

Coralie Fargeat

Writer:

Coralie Fargeat (screenplay by)

 

REVENGE borrows from many classic films like MAD MAX, THE HUNTING PARTY and female stalker movies to provide another gore fest in which victim becomes hunter with a few more tricks on display.  This is French director Carolie Fargeat’s debut feature shot in both French and English and an impressive one at that.  She presented her film at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, proving that she talent as well as beauty.

A rich businessman, Richard (Kevin Janssens) takes his mistress, Jen (Italian model Matilda Lutz) on a getaway in a gorgeous mansion by a desert.  His two hunting friends, Stanley (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède )show up and abuse her while he goes off on a chore for two hours.  Instead of being on her side, Richard takes his friends side.  When she threatens to tell his wife, Richard pushes her off a cliff.  She survives.  They hunt her down while she, turns the table on them.  

The film is the real BATTLE OF THE SEXES and one that is relevant considering how women have ben abused by celebrities like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Crosby.  Fargeat’s strong feminist imprint is present in her frill from start to finish.  She shows that the female is not a plaything and if treated as one with disrespect, will come fighting back for REVENGE.

Fargeat’s film is gorgeous to look at in all respects from the exterior landscape to the interior sets.  The stunning desert landscape that includes one pool of water, as well as the cliffs are well photographed.  The mansion in the middle of the reset with its swimming pool is a marvel in modern architecture.  Around 20% of the film is set in the darkness in the dead of night.  The cinematography by Robrecht Heyvaert is nothing short of magnificent with just enough light to see what is happening in the dead of the desert night.

This French horror slasher can be seen to be quite different from the American counterparts.  REVENGE is ultra violent, flashy with less distracting humour and hardly any false alarms and cheap tricks to jolt the audience.  Fargeat’s attention to detail like the blood dripping on the ant in the desert and the one hunting friend chewing a crunchy chocolate bar while a rep is going on is particularly menacing.

A few gory set-ups include one where a man extracts chards of glass from the base of his foot and another with Jen tending to her wounds with the aluminium of a red hot beer can.  The latter segment lasts a full 10 minutes and almost too gruesome to watch, while Jen takes peyote so that she will be unable to feel the pain while tending the wounds.  

The climatic scene is full of inventive cat-and house chasing complete with Richard applying Saran wrap around his wounds.

It will be a very eager wait for Fargeat’s next film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTJrztVvmx0

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TIFF 2017 Movie Review: REVENGE (France 2017) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Revenge Poster
Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

Director:

Coralie Fargeat

Stars:

Kevin JanssensMatilda Anna Ingrid LutzAvant Strangel

REVENGE borrows from many classic films like MAD MAX, THE HUNTING PARTY and female stalker movies to provide another gore fest in which victim becomes hunter with a few more tricks on display. This is Carolie Fargeat’s debut feature and an impressive one at that.

A rich businessman, Steve takes his mistress )Italian model Matilda Lutz) on a getaway in a gorgeous mansion by a desert. His two hunting friends show up and abuse her while he goes off for two hours. Instead of being on her side, Steve takes his friends side. When she threatens to tell his wife, Steve’s pushes her off a cliff. She survives. They hunt her down while she, turns the table on them.

The film is the real BATTLE OF THE SEXES, not the one with the same title centred on tennis, also at this year’s TIFF. A few gory set-ups include one where a man extracts chards of glass from the base of his foot and another with her tending to her wounds with the metal of a red hot beer can.

The climatic scene is full of inventive cat-and house chasing complete with Steve applying Saran wrap around his wounds. REVENGE is perfect Midnight Madness fare and had the theatre howling during the screening.

Film Review: RINGS (2017)

rings.jpgDirector: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Writers: David Loucka (screenplay), Jacob Estes (screenplay)
Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki

Review by Gilbert Seah

 Directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez (BEFORE THE FALLS) and written by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes and Akiva Goldsman, RINGS, the third film in the RINGS horror franchise (after THE RING and THE RING 2) attempts to blend in American psychological horror to the Japanese ‘watch the video – then you die’ scenario. It does not work.

When one goes to see an American remake of a cheap Japanese horror franchise, one had better keeps ones hopes low. The question is how low to keep ones hopes at to still NOT be disappointed. The film’s first 10 minutes set up the audience for these low expectations. A cute guy is seated, and sweating on an economy flight. When the girl next to him asks what is wrong, he explains that he has seen a video and is to die within 7 days and that he has 5 more minutes to survive. So, stupidly enough, he has to leave for the washroom when the seat belt sign is on. Black stuff flows on the floor, he is pulled on the floor by an unseen force and the plane crashes. All this makes absolutely no sense at all. And neither do much of the rest of the film. The odd thing is that the film gets really boring within the next 10 minutes.

The film’s main characters are two teens, who are very much in love. Holt (Alex Roe) leaves for University while Julia (Matilda Lutz) stays home pining for him. When Holt does the ‘watch the video and then die in 7 days’ gig, Julia drives up to save him. All these problems are caused by Holt’s Professor Gabriel (The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki). Somehow, the smart one seems to be Julia who has all the answers. Julia figures out that she has to free some girl in order to remove the curse which she is now caught with – which proves that she is not that smart after all. The villain of the piece turns out to be a blind fat priest called Burke (Vincent D’Onofrio – he played the recruit that shot himself in Stanley Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET) who might end up unforgettable in this role for all the wrong reasons.

The story turns into the horror story of a town that had a missing talented girl. The talented girl was kidnapped for almost a year, and put in chains in a basement by the priest, Burke. The attempt to Americanize RINGS with the video horror and this kidnapping story is a weak excuse of a plot that is just too flimsy to work. The tactic is not fooling anyone either.
The only thing going for the film are the scary images – most duplicated from the Japanese franchise.

For a horror flick, RINGS cost a massive $25 million to make. This will add to the estimated $500 million loss Paramount is is writing down from its film division this year. Watch the film, then sell your stock within 7 days.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFB4eZSVgBE

 

 

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