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A tasteless stew of Gothic rural horror and ghastly Gallic humour haphazardly helmed by Saigon-born pop video director Kim Chapiron, this owes much to ‘Straw Dogs’ and ‘Kids’. Yet for all its provocative excesses (casual racism, hateful misogyny, would-be blasphemous Christian symbolism), there is never anything remotely scary, entertaining or thought-provoking about its shouty grotesquery.

Thrown out of the sweaty Styxx Club, the surly Bart (Olivier Bartélémy), his pals Ladj and Thai and beautiful bartender Yasmine accept an invitation to spend the night with the mysterious Eve (Roxanne Mesquida) at her parents’ country house. Alarm bells should have started ringing when lubricious local redhead Jeanne tried to masturbate Bart’s dog. Or when Vincent Cassel’s gurning, moustachioed housekeeper, Joseph, related the charming Christmas story of a farmer who, while possessed by Satan, impregnates his own sister. Or perhaps earlier, when Eve revealed her dead father’s bizarre collection of life-like dolls. But when every single person in a village is an inbred cretin, and the prospect of sex is constantly being dangled, the distractions are many.

While Cassel seems to be auditioning for a French remake of ‘The League of Gentlemen’, everyone else is either sultry or sulky. The set-up is too slow, the middle section creepy and unsettling, and the last third marred by a lack of deaths and a slew of infuriating trick endings. At least we should have seen these boring, amoral adolescents gruesomely dispatched. The film’s original title, ‘Sheitan’, is the Persian for Satan. It’s pronounced ‘Shite-an’, as in ‘Shite an’ then some’.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday February 23 2007
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kim Chapiron
Screenwriter: Kim Chapiron, Christian Chapiron
Cast: Vincent Cassel
Olivier Bartélémy
Roxane Mesquida
Monica Bellucci
Nico Le Phat Tan
Leila Bekhti
Ladj Ly
Julie-Marie Parmentier
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Sheitan is a very good movie. Very good performance from Vincent Cassel !!!


Sheitan is a very good movie. Very good performance from Vincent Cassel !!!