JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Resonnances (Director/Writer: Philippe Robert) - December 21, 2010


3 3
2006 min.

Not living the game

Rats. Philippe Robert’s econo-budget horror flick began with much promise. Filled with snappy dialogue, three bags of coal (for the BBQ—the silent payoff was a hoot), a fleeting bare ass and a 300-year-old back-story set-up, the appetite was immediately whetted for a marvellous allegory. Alas, the twin castle settings (in 1663 French countryside and the closing tableau for a present-day video game) never connected their own dots.

Having artfully embedded a burrowing monster-from-another-world before the opening credits, then releasing a psychopath (Patrick Mons adds a slight touch of queer to spice up this honey of a role) to add one more “monster on the loose” as three couples (separate cars—all the better to add suspense) make their way—but never arrive …—to a night of fun, games and more, the film gradually grinds to a halt.

Sure, there are lots of scary, deadly moments (the car cemetery would delight Stephen King) and numerous chases, captures and escapes in and above the creature’s killing ground, but nothing further truly binds the centuries divide together (save and except for the Lady in White’s miraculous reappearance).

It’s mostly the guys who carry the action. Thomas (Romain Ogerau) keeps his Volkswagen Bug meticulously clean and is leader of the pack of buds. Yann (Yann Sundberg descends almost convincingly into a fine madness—too many “fucks” spoiling his character’s broth) is the amigo in the middle. Which leaves Vincent. The game-aholic is played with complete believability by Vincent Lecompte and is creatively kept from crashing to the ground by his portable device’s holster. Aha! Now that it’s been established that his obsession has let him live for another play, surely his prowess at doing battle with digital demons will form the basis for the group’s flight to safety from the relentlessly badgering carnivore from planet X. Sadly, it was game over without a single strategy from the small-screen addict’s arsenal being brought into the fight.

On the plus side, Richard Sanderson’s score is a fine blend of mood music (the dark string writing is just a couple of notes away from Edvard Grieg’s “Death of Ase”) and balancing songs (most notably “Save Me” is worth a listen on its own). The bargain basement special effects will delight genre enthusiasts even as the to and fro between the tunnelling devil and the surface targets stretch credibility to the breaking point (best of show are the few shots from the monster’s angle).

Nonetheless, Resonnances has enough going for it that it’s worth a look to appreciate the current state of Robert’s grim art. JWR

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