Thursday, October 27, 2011

HALLOWEENAGE #24: SHEITAN (2006)

Did you ever see a French film and feel bad about yourself because it was so artsy and difficult to understand?  Well, problem solved because SHEITAN exists.  This is pretty much the same city kids-go-to-the-country-to-die movie you've seen one billion times already, only more annoying because the kids are both French and way into club/hip hop culture.


It's momentarily entertaining to hear poncy French and see translations like the one above (don't get me started on the DJ who "don't give a fuck about holidays"), but the initial portion of the film is also the most aggravating because it's full of club scenes and driving scenes and it's shot with every shitty unnecessary camera technique and trendy lens you've seen in every video with people waving money over ridiculous cars ever.  Also, the Equal Opportunity laws for crews in France must be pretty rigid because this gang of kids includes one of everything except that they forgot an Eskimo.  Too bad they all pretty much dress and act the same way!  It's like every race has its very own Kevin Federline.


Once they get to the sticks, the camera stops having so many seizures and they meet the best thing about this movie, Vincent Cassel as Joseph, a creepily endearing caretaker guy.  Cassel's just so exuberant and persistent that it makes you want to like the movie more.  But it mostly unfolds the way you'd expect, the way that all films which are fifteenth-generation TEXAS CHAINSAW children do, with city folks being picked off by the backwoods mutants.  It tries oh so very hard! to include oddball humor including hillbilly racisms, but ultimately I laughed out loud this many times:  .


HIGH TENSION happened, so this also has a few twists, of course.  Overall, it feels very French in a bad way, more like the showier side of IRREVERSIBLE than something that's taut and well-crafted like INSIDE or IN MY SKIN.  Those of you who like metal have heard that new Morbid Angel thing.  Imagine the creative sessions when they were writing "Too Extreme" and congratulating themselves ahead of time on cutting edges and how it would take listeners aback.  And then it ended up being received like, "Oh, yeah, this sort of sounds like things we've heard before, in the nineties."  Yes, pretty much, this is like that.  Skip.

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