Movies, Horror
2 out of 5 stars
Writer-director Xavier Gens’ confused slice of Gallic ‘survival horror’ is intense and technically impressive, but politically naive. It piles on the sadistic cruelty and gore, creating a stomach-churning air of dread that ‘Hostel’ fans may relish.

References to the election of a right-wing government hint at a deeper allegory, but serve as little more than an opportunistic backdrop. On the run from Paris’s riot-torn suburbs, reluctant robber Yasmine (Karina Testa) and three male accomplices hole up near the border and enter motel hell. The owners are a neo-Nazi pater familias and his in-bred cannibal family, who serve their captives human flesh, then treat them like pigs. One victim is broiled alive in a steam oven; another’s Achilles tendons are snipped with rusty bolt-cutters.

Yasmine’s pregnancy temporarily saves her – the incestuous family’s bloodline needs renewing – but not for long. An indication of Gens’ lack of control over the material is his juxtaposition of an exploitation-style ‘girls-with-guns’ shoot-out with a distressing scene that echoes the imagery and distorted sound of Elem Klimov’s bleak 1985 war film, ‘Come and See’.


Release details

Cast and crew

Xavier Beauvois
Xavier Beauvois
Karina Testa
Aurélien Wiik
Patrick Ligardes