Tag Archives: Julien Maury

Kandywoman

Kandisha

by George Wolf

Early on, plenty in the Shudder original Kandisha is going to remind you of Candyman. The filmmakers wisely address this early as well, and then move right along with a brisk and bloody realization of a Moroccan vendetta born from centuries-old roots.

On summer break from school, teen best friends Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), Bintou (Suzy Bemba) and Morjana (Samarcande Saadi) are busy practicing their graffiti art in a dilapidated building. Peeling back some rotting drywall, Amélie spots a spray-painted tag of “Kandisha,” and Morjana recounts the legend.

In 16th century Morocco, Kandisha fought the Portuguese occupation that took her husband’s life. She even managed to kill six enemy occupiers before being caught, tortured, and killed.

Now, she roams the netherworld as a half-beast walking upright on hooves, waiting for a summons that will require her to slay six men before returning to her eternal unrest.

And how do you summon Kandisha? You look in the mirror and say her name five times.

“Like in the movies?”

Yes, girls, just like in the movies.

Writers/directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (the unforgettable Inside) are smart enough to take what we’re thinking and make it organic. We instantly relate to the girls’ scoffing, which helps make us feel connected to the journey that will make them believers.

Once Amélie conjures Kandisha to avenge an assault, it’s a trip that doesn’t waste much time getting down to business. There’s no trace of the silly humor Bustillo and Maury added to Inside, but their penchant for grandiose bloodletting is front and center as Kandisha begins counting to six.

The girls turn to an Imam for help reversing the curse, a narrative thread that ultimately provides more than just monstrous thrills. It’s also the chance for international audiences – especially in America – to see Islam depicted as a source for salvation instead of the stereotypical terrorist breeding ground.

If you’re going back to the well of Bloody Mary and Candyman, the water gets finer via each original filter. Kandisha adds a fresh cultural and female-specific lens to a bloody, take-no-prisoners approach that does much to overcome the tale’s familiar building blocks.

Fright Club Live: Inside

Inside (2007)

Holy shit. Inside is not for the squeamish.

Beatrice Dalle’s insidious performance is hard to shake. Fearless, predatory, pitiless and able to take an enormous amount of abuse, her nameless character stalks a very, very pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis). Sarah lost her husband in a car crash some months back, and now, on the eve of Christmas, she sits, enormous, uncomfortable, and melancholy about the whole business. She’s grown cynical and despondent, more depressed than excited about giving birth in the morning.

Alexandre Bustillo’s film seeks to change her mind, make her want that baby. Because Dalle’s lurking menace certainly wants it. Her black clad silhouette is in the back yard, smoking and stalking – and she has seriously bad plans in mind.

Bustillo and directing partner Julien Maury swing the film from intelligent white collar angst to goretastic bloodfest with ease. The sadistic humor Dalle brings to the performance adds chills, and Paradis’s realistic, handicapping size makes her vulnerability palpable.

The film goes wildly out of control, and by the third act, things are irredeemably out of hand. And yet, this is a brilliant effort, a study in tension wherein one woman will do whatever it takes, with whatever utensils are available, to get at the baby still firmly inside another woman’s body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOk5tiAkEdA





Your Scary-Movie-a-Day Guide to October. Day 16: Inside

Inside (2007)

Holy shit. Inside is not for the squeamish.

Beatrice Dalle’s insidious performance is hard to shake. Fearless, predatory, pitiless and able to take an enormous amount of abuse, her nameless character stalks a very, very pregnant Sarah (Alysson Paradis). Sarah lost her husband in a car crash some months back, and now, on the eve of Christmas, she sits, enormous, uncomfortable, and melancholy about the whole business. She’s grown cynical and despondent, more depressed than excited about giving birth in the morning.

Alexandre Bustillo’s film seeks to change her mind, make her want that baby. Because Dalle’s lurking menace certainly wants it. Her black clad silhouette is in the back yard, smoking and stalking – and she has seriously bad plans in mind.

Bustillo and directing partner Julien Maury swing the film from intelligent white collar angst to goretastic bloodfest with ease. The sadistic humor Dalle brings to the performance adds chills, and Paradis’s realistic, handicapping size makes her vulnerability palpable.

The film goes wildly out of control, and by the third act, things are irredeemably out of hand. And yet, this is a 2/3 brilliant effort, a study in tension wherein one woman will do whatever it takes, with whatever utensils are available, to get at the baby still firmly inside another woman’s body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOk5tiAkEdA