|Directed by:||Xavier Gens|
|Written by:||Xavier Gens|
|Cast:||Karina Testa, Samuel Le Bihan, Estelle Lefebure, Aurelien Wiik|
|Studio:||After Dark Films|
|Genre:||Crime, Horror, Thriller|
The first thing that makes this movie stand out for me is the characters. Or victims I should say. These aren’t a bunch of defenseless, annoyingly stupid teenagers with nothing better to do than drink, fuck and party. No, these guys are criminals on the run. Ready to do anything to escape prosecution and survive. They’re the kind that fights back when pushed into a corner instead of tearing up and pleading for their lives.
I was enthralled with these characters and their adventure from the first few minutes as they escape a massive riot and escape a shootout with the cops. Even before they reach the impending dangers I wanted to see what would come of these folks and if they would make it. And there isn’t much innocence at all in these victims. They’re almost a despicable as their captors, which I think adds to the pleasure of their suffering.
I’ve always loved Variety’s John Anderson’s description of this movie as “The French answer to ‘Hostel’ and ‘Saw’”. That’s a rightful comparison. I'd say there's a bit of a Descent element going with a particularly claustrophobic tunnel scene. But I think it has more of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel more than anything. Not only because neither one of these movies have much of a plot. But they both feature a family full of killers, which is a pretty frightening thought. And family is just as twisted as the Hewitt clan, with a twisted little Neo-Nazi flare.
It doesn't exactly explore any new territory or anything. It more or less just accentuates these grotesque themes, caring more about the gore than story or characterization. And it's definitely not a movie for the squeamish. This has all the gore you could ask for, and enough to earn a ban from Thailand. Heads exploding, heads melting, tendons cut with bolt cutters, impaled with saw blades and much more. This shit is gruesome.
My favorite scene is the showdown between Yasmine and Goetz. It isn't until he enters the room and flips the lights on that we (as well as Yasmine) see that she has found her hiding spot amongst a line of hanging corpses. He knows she's in there. He turns the saw table on, picks up an axe and chopping into the bodies, waiting to get her. She courageously attacks him, only to fall victim one last time before catching him off guard and pushing him into the moving saw. That shit always gets my heart pumping.
BOTTOM LINE: Call me crazy but I think this movie kicks ass and I love it. I honestly can’t see why more people aren’t into this flick. Not as good as a lot of other French horror flicks like Inside and Martyrs, lacking in the development in characterization and plot. But I still dig the hell out it.