Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 70: Calvaire: The Ordeal

This is one of those movies that everyone recommended to me forever but that I put off forever because I kept forgetting about it or wanting to watch something else more, so I just now got around to watching it. I think at some point someone warned me how brutal this movie was going to be, but I must have forgotten or pushed it to the back of my mind, because I wasn't expecting it to disturb me as much as it did and it was a hard movie to finish.

When I say "brutal" here, I'm not necessarily talking about gore, because there didn't appear to be as much gore here as in other movies I've seen, but I'm talking about the torture the movie's protagonist endures. It's really tough to watch at times. the movie is about a musician traveling in the rain one night whose van breaks down in the middle of the road and he accepts help from an odd man he sees walking around in the rain looking for his "dog." As you can probably guess, this guy is about 12 cans short of a 6 pack, and as soon as our hero follows the weirdo out into the night, he's basically screwed. Things don't just go from bad to worse, though, and that's what makes the movie hard to watch for me. Things go from bad, to a little badder, to a little badder, to a little badder, as the strangeness increases in such small increments that the good guy doesn't realize he's in trouble until it's too late. I could see the spider building its web and I kept yelling at the good guy to escape (why don't they ever listen to me?) but he just sticks around, ignoring his rapidly growing sense of dread, until it's too late.

Like I said, there isn't much gore on display here, but the torture is disturbing enough that it had me flinching and turning away for long periods of time, which was bad enough for me. I won't spoil anything for you, but for the people who are expecting sawed off body parts, you'll be disappointed. this isn't that kind of movie. This is the kind of movie for those who might almost rather have their body parts sawed off than deal with some of what this guy has to deal with in this movie. It's not one I can recommend, as in "hey. get all your friends to sit down and watch this movie!" They might have you committed. But for fans of the kind of films that make our skin crawl and make us very uncomfortable, those of us who should know better but watch this kind of movie anyway, this is worth a look. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

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