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Sheitan (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"'Le Sheitan' tells the story of a group of youngsters who exit a disco late one night and accidentally run into a shepherd who has prepared himself for a night of Satanic worship."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 09 April 2008 My Rating: out of 5


Typically objectionable (French) youngsters are invited by another young girl (Roxanne Mesquida) to visit her family in a rural part of the country. Turns out, this is ‘Squeal like a Pig’ territory, and they are greeted by the local groundskeeper; rotten teeth-sporting, cheerfully racist and Satanic, inbred relative Vincent Cassel, who may or may not actually be Satan himself (examine that title a little further if you don’t get it already). Needless to say, this pic (possibly an attempt at a French “Chainsaw Massacre” or “The Hills Have Eyes” by way of “Deliverance”) ain’t gonna be for everyone (can you say incest? Well, how about bestiality? That oughtta get rid of a few of you right off the bat. I wish I had done so myself). In fact, I’m not even sure what this offering from writer-director Kim Chapiron, even is or how to describe it. Except I know that it’s unpleasant for the sake of it, weird for the sake of it, offensive for the sake of it, and absolutely no goddamn fun whatsoever.

It also ends up making very little sense by the time the climax mercifully comes along. Even Cassel’s admirably balls-out performance (he also produced the film) isn’t enough to make this frankly off-putting film worth watching. It’s all just artificial oddness and offensiveness with no damn point to it (even if it’s meant to be a black comedy there’s no fun or humour in it). How is it that a film about Satanism, inbred hicks, three-way sex, and Cassel running around in drag with a faeces-eating grin, could be so unwatchable? Well, this is definitely unwatchable and inexplicable, even for die-hard Cassel fans (though Mesquida is kinda hot, though).

Self-consciously bizarre, pretty much unwatchable madness will be unlikely to appeal to even those who are into the truly freaky. The characters are too dull and repugnant for it to be enjoyable.

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