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Calvaire (also known as The Ordeal) is one of the fore-runners of the French contemporary horror boom of the last 15 years, which has exploded (much in the same way that J-horror did in the mid-90s) into the minds of horror buffs all over the world. Not only is Calvaire a strange, unnerving, and often amusing experience, it is also of great interest to those well versed in the horror genre. French acting talent doesn’t come much better than Laurant Lucas at the moment, and he convincingly gets lost in his characters journey. Phillipe Nahon’s presence is always felt, despite limited screen time. Throw in Brigitte Lahaie, references to Deliverance, The Wicker Man, Don’t Look Now, Polanski, outstanding cinematography (Benoit Debie), and of course The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which this film closely resembles), and Calvaire can be seen as one of finest modern exercises in vintage horror.
Enjoy the descent into hell.