The Ordeal (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

The Ordeal 2004

Calvaire

Directed by Fabrice du Welz

Breathing new life into the ‘car trouble leaves protagonist stranded’ formula, this perverse film twists conventions and delivers one creepy and funny Gothic horror.

Belgium / France / Luxembourg In French with English subtitles
90 minutes 35mm

Director

Screenplay

Fabrice du Welz
,
Romain Protat

Photography

Benoît Debie

Editor

Sabine Hubeaux

Music

Vincent Cahay

With

Laurent Lucas
,
Jackie Berroyer
,
Philippe Nahon
,
Jean-Luc Couchard
,
Brigitte Lahaie

Festivals

Cannes (Critics’ Week), Edinburgh, Toronto 2004; Rotterdam 2005

Elsewhere

This audacious flick from Belgian Fabrice du Welz is a heady cocktail; equal parts Deliverance, Luis Buñuel and the TV show The League of Gentlemen. Breathing new life into the ‘car trouble leaves protagonist stranded’ formula, this perverse film twists conventions and delivers one scary and funny Gothic horror. A cabaret singer who cuts a crust crooning cheesy love songs at weddings and rest homes is a big hit with the old ladies. On the way to his next big Christmas gig, his car gives up the ghost and he’s forced to stay at a creepy isolated inn, run by a very, very lonely proprietor. When the innkeeper reveals his wife was a singer who left him for another man, things quickly go from disturbing to terrified for our hapless singer, who now realizes that this audience-of-one could in fact deliver his final curtain call. Featuring breathtakingly spooky natural light photography by Irreversible cinematographer Benoît Debie, this is a hilarious and macabre treat for those who think they've seen it all.