Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Night 26: Malefique

I don't know whether it was the anticlimactic rainout of what should have been a riotous celebration in Philly, or the disappointment over what purported to be a quality movie, but either way I'm feeling deeply unsatisfied this morning. By all accounts, Malefique was supposed to be another stylish bit of French horror, but I personally thought it was a complete pile of merde.

Three men and a burly transexual share a jail cell in an unnamed prison, in an unnamed part of France. Wherever it is, if I ever get pinched I want to do my time there. Prisoners call for their own exercise periods, have civilized dinners of tinned comestibles and wine, and wear the same clothes they would on the outside. Sure, they cut off each other's fingers to spend some time in the sick ward and bunk four to a cell, but hey, there's a grimoire in the wall that will help them pass the time. Does it matter that the story behind said book is more murky than mysterious? Or that the film's liberal cribbing from Lovecraft's fabled Necronomicon feels more like plagiarism than homage? Well, it did to me. Within the first five minutes I could already tell that Malefique lacked whatever alchemy transmutes a film from pointless make believe to escapist experience. I continued to give it the benefit of the doubt though, all the way up to and including the hackneyed ending. If only so that I can recommend, without hesitation, that nobody else does the same.

I would like to the thank the filmmakers though for introducing a new word to my personal lexicon. "Malefic" means "having or exerting a malignant influence." Given my proclivities, I'm not sure how I survived this long without knowing that word, but I'm glad I won't have to anymore.

Scorecard (out of ten skulls):
Scare Factor:

My psychological status:

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