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French Horror Part 2: Present

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Gary Floyd

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-Deep in the Woods (2000)-Eh, mostly uneventful about a group of artists hunted by a slasher. You've seen it before, and you've seen it done better.

 

-Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)-Though more action than horror, this badass little entry was a hit in it's home country, and helped bring the new wave of French Horror. Basically, a dude and his Native American Friend (played by Mark Dacascos from that horrible Double Dragon movie) in 18th Century France must solve the mystery behind a group of killings caused by a beast (created by Jim Henson's Workshop).

 

-Trouble Every Day (2001)-Despite being about sex and cannibalism, and a cool score by The Tindersticks, this is really just a dull, pretentious art house flick that just happens to have graphic sex and gore.

 

-Irréversible (2002)- Ouch. The most brutal, unflinching tale of rape and revenge since I Spit on Your Grave contains an ugly bludgening and a 9 minute rape scene. The movie is told in backwards time (like Memento), but it still packs an ugly as hell punch.

 

-Bloody Mallory (2002)-Ugh. A bad Horror/Comedy about a group of Paranormal Fighters that fuck around for the hell of it. If the Anti-Catholic sentiment doesn't offend you, the sub par Troma level humor and bad Buffy rip-off of a plot will.

 

-In My Skin (2002)-A woman recieves a disfiguring accident, and becomes fascinated by the wound...and then things get uncomfortable. A really painful (not in the bad sense) movie about a woman's erotic obsession with self mutilation. As far as Artsy French horror goes, this is a a major step up from "Trouble Every Day."

 

-Maléfique (2002)-Four inmates sharing a cell find a book of the occult. As you can guess, things go bad. Gory, suspense filled movie just recently got a U.S. DVD release after several years of online hype.

 

-High Tension (2003)-The movie that helped define the current wave of violent but suspensful French Horror may have a dreadful twist, but it's still a great horror movie. An impressive debut that shows recent slashers like Hatchet how it's done.

 

-They Came Back (2004)-The dead have come back. Not to consume our flesh, but to live their lives again. Not gory, but still haunting, those expecting a straight forward zombie movie will be disappointed. Those looking for something different will be pleased.

 

-Sheitan (2006)-Watchable but mediocre tale of "Hostel" like antics (no, not torture) and satanism. The real reason to watch this is Vincent Cassel, who's a hoot.

 

-Them (2006)-No, not a remake of the legendary Giant Ant movie. Here, a couple in an isolated country home, only to find themselves fighting for their lives against hooded assailants. Not a gorefest, but a great suspense flick with plenty of tense moments.

 

-Frontier(s) (2007)-A group of protestors find themselvs in deep shit when they run into a family of Nazi cannibals. While hardly original, (echoes of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Descent, Hostel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and other movies fill this sucker), it's still a fun little gorefest that actually got taken out of the "8 Fims to Die For" competition because of it's NC-17 rating.

 

-Inside (2007)-The best recent French horror movie so far (and the best horror movie of the year so far-it came to the U.S. in April) is an excellent blend of stomach churning gore and nail biting suspense. The premise is simple, but effective: A pregnant woman is terrorized in her house by a madwoman who wants what's inside of her. I won't say anything else. Just see it, you won't regret it.

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