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The Ordeal (Calvaire) [DVD]


Price: £9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Luc Couchard, Brigitte Lahaie
  • Directors: Fabrice Du Welz
  • Producers: Michael Gentile, Eddy Geradon-Luyckx, Vincent Tavier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Mar. 2006
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C05YJA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,401 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The Ordeal (aka Calvaire) delivers a terrifying and desperately dark tale of obsession, kidnap, and borderline psychosis that brings to mind films such as Deliverance, Straw Dogs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but that has a continental flavour very much of it’s own.

Review

"A gripping, utterly involving, horribly funny movie" -- The Guardian

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jody Shelley on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been getting into my foreign horror more and more of late, and got this through just a few days ago. After reading a few of the reviews, I got a general idea of what to expect, but nothing could have lead me to feel just what I felt after watching the film.

The setting is the misty, cold, damp, wintery forest of the Ardennes. This sets the tone straight away and immediately starts to send chills down your spine. I'll admit, it's not the scariest film I've seen, but it leaves a dark stain on your memory and for a few hours after watching, normality seems to have bent, just a little bit.

It's a psychological horror, and it does everything you'd want a psych-horror to do. Give you some uneasy, squirming moments and leave you thinking about it long after.

The only downside about this DVD, was that there seemed to be a little bit of a lag between the actors talking and their actual mouths moving, but you tend to forget about this as you get immersed in the film, so it's not too bad at all.

I enjoyed it, and am happy that I can say I've added it to my horror library.

If you're into psychological horror and/or foreign cinema, then you will like this.

Watch out for the dance scene - genuinely creepy and downright harrowing.

Four stars.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD
Disturbing; unsettling, weird; uncomfortable - these are just a few of the adjectives that most come to mind when I reflect upon this uniquely creepy film. The English title is The Ordeal, but ordeal really isn't an adequate description of what this film's protagonist endures over the course of this 90-minute film. I looked "Calvaire" up online and found that it translates from French to English as martyrdom or living death - yep, that's pretty much spot on, as I think all viewers of this film will agree. I like my horror as deep and disturbing as I can find it, yet I've never developed a real affinity for exploitation films or for the types of films that admittedly influenced Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz (including the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and I don't believe anyone, (including this film's biggest fans) can say they actually enjoyed this cinematic experience - yet there's something special and certainly compelling about Calvaire. Even though I didn't interpret it exactly the way the director explains it, it's a darn impressive film that succeeds amazingly well at shocking and disturbing the viewer.

For a director's first feature-length movie - and one that that makes no secret of that director's cinematic influences - Calvaire achieves a sustained identity all its own, evincing a shrouded, unsettling cinematic atmosphere from the opening shot. It's most interesting to hear Du Welz talk about his cinematic vision and the film's intended transitions from naturalism to surrealism and back. I do have a problem with the way snow appears and disappears from the landscape (as well as the treatment of a couple of animal actors), but apart from that the cinematography is ruthlessly effective.

Calvaire asks "What's the worst that could happen?
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A dark pastiche that pays tribute to such 1970's classics as Deliverance (hostile gun-toting locals), and Straw Dogs (an isolated house under siege) Calvaire is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of Belgian backwoods terror. An astute exercise in surrealism, and a distinctly urbanised reflection on country bumpkin mentality, whilst Calvaire might not be the most original of productions, what it does bring to the table is a decidedly unique take on rejection, isolation, and insane infatuation. With a story that revolves around the unfortunate stranding of an entertainer in the Belgian countryside (and his subsequent imprisonment by a demented hotelier) Calvaire throws up some rather unique insights into the vast - often disturbed - human psyche. Less visceral than the current crop of French horrors, (but no less unsettling in its absence) where Calvaire raises the bar is through the curious relationship of its two pivotal players. Honouring requests for a private performance, Marc unwittingly triggers the old man's resentment towards a wife that has long since abandoned him. Convinced that she has returned in the form of his unfortunate guest, Bartel ensures the singers presence by sabotaging his van and adroitly rendering him unconscious. Bound to a chair and dressed in the absent woman's clothing, Marc's physical and psychological torture begins earnest. Taking into account the Neanderthal countenance of the ensemble (all male) cast, as the clean cut outsider, it is Marc who becomes the film's feminine aspect. Now a surrogate wife for the clearly unbalanced Bartel, it isn't long before he attracts by far more 'unwanted' attention. An offbeat production populated by characters that wouldn't look out of place in an asylum, Calvaire is a consummate example of Belgian avant garde.
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Ordered this movie without knowing much about it, other then I'd seen the trailer, and it looked just ok, and a friend suggested it to me.
I was NOT disappointed!
It's a classic tale with a guy stranded on some off-roads and meet's a bunch of psycho's.
So the movie doesn't bring much new to the table, but it's the atmosphere in the film that really got me hooked and there is a certain scene with some guys "dancing" in a bar, that's taken right out of a freakin nightmare.
It's very well played and you can't help feeling a bit sorry for the antagonist, even if he's completely insane.
To compare with others, I'd say it's heavily influenced by Misery and Chainsaw Massacre, but certainly not in a bad way.
Not über-gory, although it has it's moments, but it's the atmosphere and characters that are the strengths of this movie.

So if you're into movies like Eden Lake, Frontiers, Martys and those movies alike, I'm quite sure you'll appreciate this one.
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