Newlyweds Stefan and Valerie arrive at a Grand Hotel in Ostend for their honeymoon. Valerie keeps asking Stefan to inform his mother of the marriage, but he seems reticent. They are the only guests in the hotel until the arrival off the beautiful Countess Elizabeth Bathory(Delphine Seyrig) and her young companion Ilona(Andrea Rau). The Hotel clerk remembers the Countess staying at the hotel before, but that was forty years ago, when he was a young bellboy. He finds it remarkable that she looks exactly the same as she did then. The Countess corrects him saying that the guest back then must have been her mother. Meanwhile, a series of murders are being committed in Belgium. When the married couple visit Bruges, the body of a young woman is being taken out of an apartment. Stefan seems excited at witnessing the event, and is violent towards his wife when she tries to pull him away. As the marriage disintergrates, the Countess and Ilona see an oppurtunity to carry out plans of their own, plans that involve both Stefan and Valerie.
This is a quite beautiful film, each act of which seems like a moving painting seperated by a red curtain. It takes a very languid approach in telling its story, but to be honest who cares with the stunning imagery on display. The films story is relatively simple, but still manages to create quite a mystery, through its implicit rather than explicit exploration of the vampire mythos. Its also a very sensuous, erotic film, though once again not explicitly so. The performances are all good, but its Seyrig as Bathory who really excels, a mixture of sly cunning and deadly charm.
An excellent film, and an excellent release from Blue Underground. 5 out of 5