The Ordeal


Viewed – 09 April 2010  DVD

Very strange.  This urban chiller starts off like a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and BBC TV show The League Of Gentlemen, with a cabaret singer travelling through rural France until his van breaks down and he seeks shelter in a local inn owned by a kind by slightly wierd old man.  Only problem is, said old man seems to have more than a few screws loose, and it’s not long before he has dressed up our terrified singer in his wife’s dress and starts calling him Gloria. 

This is demented stuff indeed, with the local villagers offering no salvation as they are more busy sodamising the local cattle than being at all normal(!).  This is basically the main character’s torment until he finds a way of escaping his captors, and is age-old stuff, but does offer a more disturbing and unrelenting atmosphere than some similar movies even if in the age of torture-porn horror movies like Hostel and Martyrs, it can’t deliver a true horror experience beyond its odd flavouring.  The lead actor Laurent Lucas is lacking in personality and is hard to like, and the demented other members of the cast offer very little depth, and not much light is shed on why they’re so nuts.  On a plus, the direction by Fabrice Du Welz is stylish with the lack of mood music ramping up the eerie semi-documentary feel, and some of the camera work is very imaginative.

Worth a look then if you like strange, freaky movies – but for me, I’ve seen much better.

Verdict:  2 /5

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