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Malefique (2002)

  Tags: Clovis Cornillac, Didier Bénureau, Dimitri Rataud, Eric Valette, Félicia Massoni, france, french, Geoffrey Carey, Gérald Laroche, inmates, Malefique, Paul-Alexandre Bardela, Philippe Laudenbach, prison

Your rating: None Average: 6.7 (7 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

malefique.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Eric Valette
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Gérald Laroche, Philippe Laudenbach, Clovis Cornillac, Dimitri Rataud, Didier Bénureau, Félicia Massoni, Geoffrey Carey, Paul-Alexandre Bardela


France has been dishing out pretty solid films as-of-late, ranging from action flicks to balls-to-the-wall horror. Now comes Malefique; a film that I never heard of until recently, despite it being released a few years back. Not only is this an original blend of horror and fantasy, but it also mixes a subject that hasn't really been explored much recently -- black magic. The movie starts off with a claustrophobic feel, dealing with only the four lead prisoners, namely the new guy named Carrère, who was under the assumption that was only going to stay in prison for a couple weeks before his wife bails him out.

Of course, that was until she decided to leave him there while taking over all his money he left behind. Within this small cell we have three other interesting characters: a smart older fellow who's known to read books and be the brains behind the other three; the muscle of the group who's obsessed with working out so he can climb over the prison walls and just so happens to have a pair of breasts; and a skinny dumb-witted fellow who eats anything you put in front of him, including babies, which is exactly how he landed in prison.

The four men discover an old journal behind the wall of the cell, which they believe belonged to the inmate who was there before them. Upon inspecting the journal they discover the prisoner was into black magic, and devised a way to escape the prison walls. After messing with a couple spells, the group decides to test out the theory by attempting the spell themselves. Of course this leads to terrifying results, as it unleashes something from within the book that eventually plays with the minds of the men. Even after throwing the book out the window, it somehow makes its way back to them, almost as if it wants the spells to continue until they're free; but the question is whether the book is really going to help them, or if it has other plans for the men...

I liked this flick. It had a good moody claustrophobic atmosphere and interesting and tripped-out scenes that evened out with the horror elements. The effects (when needed) were top-notch and it had a decent amount of gore towards the end. Although the film is relatively slow-paced, it doesn't stray away from the fantasy and horror aspects, which successfully keeps the viewer glued to the screen.

An original story with a talented cast of characters makes Malefique a successful underrated French horror gem. Worth a check if you can get your hands on it.

Posted on November 5, 2009 - 5:34pm | FrighT MasteR

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