Greetings, readers. Hope lots of you have had a chance to see Black Swan this past week, but the limited scope of the theater release in the States is very disappointing! It’s an excellent film and I recommend catching it if you can find it in your area. With that said, what else is new in horror? Lots of French action this week!
Theater Releases, December 10th
In Their Sleep (aka Dans ton sommeil)
One year after her teenage son’s death, Sarah’s life is in pieces. Then late one night, her car accidentally hits Arthur, a young man the same age as her boy, who suddenly emerges out of the forest and onto the road. Wounded and frightened, he is running from a mysterious assailant, hunting him down after Arthur caught him red handed in the act of burglary.
Sarah sympathizes with him, taking him in, only to be tracked down by the burglar whose murderous rage towards Arthur forces her to take action. Unbeknownst to Sarah, things aren’t quite the way they seem…but by the time she finally realizes, it is too late to turn back…
This unpredictable French thriller comes to us from the producers of notorious shocker, Inside, and stars Anne Parillaud, famous for her role as the original Le Femme Nikita. The new wave of French horror is known for being both unflinching and incredibly feminine and I’d like to highlight another female presence in the director’s chair… Caroline du Potet co-directing and writing with her brother, Eric Du Potet. In Their Sleep is their feature debut. Festival buzz is mixed in general, but horror critics in the crowd promise another brutal success from France. It hits a limited number of theaters and becomes available OnDemand this Friday. As an enthusiastic fan of French horror films like Inside and Martyrs*, I know I’ll be seeing this as soon as possible.
DVD Releases, December 7th
There isn’t much info available on this low-budget feature, previously titled Drug Cult, but it looks like a crime thriller with slasher elements. A dystopian near-future of badly done voiceovers?
Fistful of Brains
A Z-grade zombie western.
Harpoon: The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre
Whale-watchers are terrorized by crazed “Fishbillies.” This slasher film from Iceland is being promoted as Texas Chainsaw Massacre on a whaler… a desired comparison reinforced by the inclusion of original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen. The story, like all TCM copies, is more of the same, but the change of setting from backwoods to open water is refreshing. Reviews are mixed leaning toward negative.
And last, but not least, we have a couple Jean Rollin films from the 70’s coming to DVD today. Jean Rollin, credited for making the first vampire and gore films in his country, could be considered France’s answer to Hammer Films.
Here are a couple trailers full of sexploitation, candelabras, castles and evil hippies:
Some nudity in this one.
The Shiver of the Vampires
My Pick this Week?
Although details on the film are limited, I would have to go with In Their Sleep. But seriously, go see Black Swan.
*Inside and Martyrs, the most prominent examples of the French new wave alongside High Tension, are not for everyone. They are brutal, intense and gory, but they’re also beautifully filmed, feminine and smart. If you have the stomach for it and are willing to be convinced that gory slasher films can be well-crafted and intelligent, I highly recommend them. (Just do some minimal research on the subject matter first to be sure)