Search - Sombre on DVD

Actors: Marc Barbe, Elina Löwensohn, Géraldine Voillat, Coralie, Maxime Mazzolini
Director: Philippe Grandrieux
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2007     1hr 52min

Philippe Grandieux?s feature directorial debut is a psychological thriller delving into the warped mind of a serial killer. While driving through France, murderer Jean encounters two sisters, Christine and Claire, whose ca...  more »


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Actors: Marc Barbe, Elina Löwensohn, Géraldine Voillat, Coralie, Maxime Mazzolini
Director: Philippe Grandrieux
Creators: Sabine Lancelin, Philippe Grandrieux, Françoise Tourmen, Catherine Jacques, Pierre Hodgson, Sophie Fillières
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/10/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1998
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

`Mood piece' that is not for all tastes
Sarah Bellum | Dublin, OH United States | 06/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Films about serial killers normally fall into one of two categories: (1) the story is told from the point of view of the detectives tracking the killer; (2) or, less commonly, in third person narrative about the killer, with attention paid to the means the killer utilizes to escape capture. The only variances are caliber of writing and acting, budget and details about the methods of murder or detective work. Since the police are nowhere to be seen here, this French film falls more or less into the second category, though it does manage to mete out a fairly unique style. Jean (Marc Barbé) is the killer, who normally targets prostitutes. His day job is a puppeteer, which affords him the opportunity to frighten children with some scary stories and monstrous puppets. He puts killing on hold after he meets Claire, a pretty young woman who has just come away from some undisclosed form of confinement. Claire is played by Elina Löwensohn, who is perhaps best known to American audiences as Katya, a former Olympic gymnast who dates Jerry on "Seinfeld." She also appeared in the American version of "Dark Water" as well as "Schindler's List," a film which provided memorable comedic fodder in another episode of "Seinfeld." As Claire's sister, Christine, Géraldine Voillat provides a sense of normalcy in an otherwise peculiar relationship. Beautiful and with good screen presence, Voillat's film career apparently consists of this one film. Despite having so much going for it, this film barely managed to maintain my interest. I attribute this to the film's style and direction. With very little dialogue, the viewer relies on following the onscreen action. This proves a little more difficult than it sounds because the film purposely goes out of focus with a good deal of frequency and uses confusing camera angles. I suppose this is meant to mirror Jean's state of mind or his loss of lucidity as he meanders through the life. We get a sense of who he is through his lack of social interaction, his violent outbursts and the manner with which he fights for Claire. Nonetheless, the film lacks suspense, something a film about a serial killer really should have. Perhaps this was supposed to be a character study of a serial killer, which would make the lack of suspense forgivable. If this was the intent, however, why is there such little dialogue? This is essentially a modern silent film, with actions and symbolism written with this in mind. At one point in the film, Jean stops to watch bikers racing in the Tour de France. By the end of the film, he has experienced the love of a good woman and no longer passively watches life race by him. Apparently this is subtle optimism that is designed to draw sympathy for an unlikable serial killer. By the time you reach that point of the film, however, you will be able to understand why Philippe Grandrieux has directed only one other feature film.