‘Red Rooms’ Review: An Eerily Brilliant Psychological Horror – Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

The invisible and the obscene are the subject of pascual plante‘s hauntingly brilliant psychological horror, which takes an overused genre, the serial killer movie, and an oft-misused technique, dark Lynchian surrealism, and somehow alchemizes the two into something new and original. . It’s certainly strong meat (the courtroom drama framing is misleading, as this isn’t really a movie about justice), but word-of-mouth cult status beckons, and a healthy nightlife on the gender is assured.

Much of the plot has already happened when the movie begins. As the crimson opening credits roll over the steel-blue lens of Vincent Biron, a young woman named Kelly-Anne (Juliette Gariépy) wakes up and takes a bus to a tall, sterile building. Inside, the frame comes alive with color as Kelly-Anne passes through security and takes a seat in a bright, white, fluorescent-lit courtroom. On trial is Ludovic Chevalier (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos), also known as The Demon of Rosemont, who is accused of the brutal murders of three girls between the ages of 13 and 16. What gives Chevalier notoriety is the nature of his crimes: the victims. they were brutally tortured before being killed, and for the benefit of a paying audience who watched it happen, live, on the dark web.

The prosecutor’s opening speech exposes the stark brutality of the case, with the undaunted Chevalier, confined to a perspex case, watching from the sidelines. The case is based on two graphic half-hour videos, as the third cannot be found, but Chevalier’s defense team claims he is a wronged man, “a model citizen” who has never been in trouble with the law at all. his 39 years. land. The main flaw in the prosecution’s argument, they add, is that no suspicious amounts of money have passed through his account, and he has shown no signs of living beyond his means.

Despite the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence, not everyone is convinced of Chevalier’s guilt. On her second day at the trial, Kelly-Anne meets Clémentine (Laurie Babin), a murderous follower who has fallen for Chevalier, claiming the videos were faked and that the trial is “one hell of a show.” The two become unlikely allies, but the balance of power in their friendship is upset when the courtroom is locked down while the two existing “snuff” videos are shown in court. Kelly-Anne has not only seen them already, but she also has them on a USB stick. Clementine begs to see them, and when she does, the cruelty of what she sees of her causes her to reevaluate her life choices and go home.

Kelly-Anne, however, keeps showing up in the courtroom. But why? This, not the motivations of the clearly unhinged killer, whoever he turns out to be, is at the heart of this darkly imaginative thriller. Throughout the first hour, it becomes clear that something is wrong with the Chevalier case; newspaper articles speak of “a missing piece” in the puzzle, and the elusive third video has acquired mythological status online. Does Kelly-Anne have the key, and if she does, is she an accomplice? The tension slowly builds until it is almost unbearable, culminating in a nightmarish scene in which Kelly-Anne, with freshly dyed blonde hair, slips on blue contact lenses and removes her coat to reveal that she is wearing a school uniform from the same kind. worn by the third and final victim, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance. As the bailiffs take her away, Chevalier, previously impassive, looks up and salutes.

Again why? Plante never quite reveals, instead layering the film with just enough nuance that we begin to get a sense of Kelly-Anne’s emotional state. Her modeling career of hers, coupled with Dominique Planet’s distinctly European score, perhaps a subtle nod to the Italian style. giallo — gets hit when even fetish website Dream to Dare cancels a photo shoot, citing rumors about her “extreme” interests, an oblique reference to BDSM. In which case, one can read the film as a sadomasochistic tale of a woman who has somehow objectified and consumed the killer. and the victim, a duality that contrasts his kindness to Clémentine with an unknowable capacity for depravity that she lives in cyberspace.

Significantly, Kelly-Anne’s online handle is Lady of Shalott, a reference to Tennyson’s poem about a woman in Arthurian times who was cursed so that she could only see the outside world reflected in a mirror. Kelly-Anne’s mirror is the dark web, and Gariépy’s gripping, icy performance makes two hours in her strange but strangely focused presence both unnerving and unforgettable.

Qualification: red rooms
Festival: Karlovy Vary (Crystal Globes Contest)
Director/screenwriter: pascual plante
Cast: Juliette Gariépy, Laurie Babin, Elisabeth Locas, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Execution time: 1 hour 58 minutes
Sales Agent: nemesis movies

Add Comment