Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 05/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"French horror films are a real rarity, but Malefique throws in one image that would leave David Cronenberg green with envy and which would have the MPAA running for the shears: as one of its quartet of convicts looks at a montage of body parts cut from porn magazines and pasted to the wall, one of them turns into a real vagina with a blinking eye. That should tell you straight off if this film is for you or not, as does the opening moment of do-it-yourself open-heart surgery. In truth, it sounds more graphic on paper than in execution, with director and Woody Allen lookalike Eric Valette using the early gore the way Cronenberg used the exploding head in Scanners to create a sense of unease about what he'll come up with to top it. The answer, in terms of gore, is not very much at all, but there are some interesting plot twists and plenty of atmosphere en route. It's a good example of an imaginative low-budget film, set almost entirely in one (admittedly roomy) prison cell where the four inhabitants find a mysterious book that seems to offer a way out of jail if they can decipher its formulas and incantations. The only problem: they don't ask why, if its previous owner truly escaped, the book was left behind or, indeed, where the book will take them...
In many ways it's an old fashioned film, relying heavily on performances and characterization for much of the first half of the tight running time. Luckily the vaguely familiar cast bring more to their parts than is often the case in no-budget genre films, although it'll be interesting to see how the original characters fare in the planned Hollywood remake (Valette himself is scheduled to remake Takashi Miike's One Missed Call). Somehow I don't think the transsexual rapist is likely to make the transition intact...
J. A. Brown | Austin, TX United States | 01/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Malifique is a film worth any true cinephile's attention, especially if one enjoys horror. From the opening scene, through the end, it captivates the viewer with a story that taunts the prisoners on the screen.
While there are some disturbingly graphic moments, it is much more cerebral than the average horror film. Even if you deduce some of the plot twists, it's still very entertaining."
Hellraiser + Cube = Malefique
Captain Insanity | NY | 10/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's what the tagline on the cover says,
and nothing could be closer to the truth!!
Of course it's French, (comes dubbed or subtitled)
Why wouldn't it be??
All the new, exciting horror movies
seem to come from that broken neck of the woods nowadays.
(i.e.: Frontiers, Martyrs, Inside, Irreversible,
Baise Moi, High Tension, Trouble Every Day, In My Skin, Them, etc.)
This is one of those movies that has a low-budget,
one, you as a viewer, are completely unaware of!!
Every penny (or French equivalent)
was obviously utilized to the fullest extent.
Never once does the lack of a budget detract from the overall experience.
The plot, while it was a bit far-fetched,
(something akin to a "Tales from the Darkside" episode)
was never anything but engaging.
The whole movie takes place in a tiny jail cell,
and despite the lack of a lavish setting,
the movie never grows dull, not even for a nano-second.
The characters: (a trans-sexual, an autistic savant,
a greedy businessman, and an intellectual who murdered his wife.)
are all very well developed, though initially you know little about each player.
But as the story progresses, each character is revealed,
not for their crime, but for their character.
In their cell the group finds a tome, hidden behind a loose stone in the wall.
A tome belonging to that of a black magician,
who resided in the same cell, a century previous.
In the journal he writes of many spells,
but one spell in particular catches their attention;
a spell to escape.
The setting is dismal, but it perfectly resembles their situation.
(and the budget at hand)
The characters are criminals, but they are human.
The plot is far-fetched, but the tension is right in your face.
It's similar to Hellraiser
in that it features a magical object that opens doorways to another world.
It's like Cube
in that it features a group of individuals trapped in a hopeles situation,
(one of which is an autistic savant), with little means of escape,
and even less understanding of how to.
It, also like Cube, worked wonders with a similar low-budget.
So if you liked either of those flix,
or are just enjoying French horror at the moment,
you can't go wrong with this one.
It's another breath of fresh air, for the horror genre.
Which is nice considering it's been suffocating with mediocrity as of late.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
The easy way out is most often cluttered with complications.
Entertaining and Disturbing
Dayna Newman | Tampa | 11/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
Is another horror offering from France .
Although somewhat slow moving in the beginning
it has some very bizarre and entertaining moments .
Perhaps the most visually unsettling and entertaining element as far as characters and the film itself was the so called Transsexual "Marcus" who is more masculine acting and looking than any of the other cellmates,the only thing seemingly that makes him a so called Tranny is that he has huge breasts that look incredibly real.
Some of the visuals that got to me were when he cradled the Idiot Savant "Daisy" in his lap and mockingly breast feeds him ,he rapes the oldest of the four cellmates on a regular basis making me very confused because transsexuals as a general rule hate the genitalia they are assigned at birth .Seeing as it takes place almost entirely in a prison cell the movie depends on good character development to make it work and it does just that.The movie itself is visually pleasing to horror fans and the ending is a good payoff .All in all a pretty good film.