Evil Words (2003)
Genre: Action Horror Drama Thriller (Canada)
Starring: Michel Côté (C.R.A.Z.Y.; "Omerta"), Patrick Huard (Bon Cop, Bad Cop;Directed By: Éric Tessier
Overview: After a Horror writer is committed for chopping off his fingers and attempting suicide, a psychiatrist tries to understand the connection between the writer's novels and a school bus shooting rampage.
Acting: From time to time the acting bordered on the cheesy. Though it never crossed the line for me, I often read along with the subtitles, and the translation was weak enough that it might make people think less of it. Definitely the emotions of the actors are a little dramatic, as is normal for horror thrillers, but if you speak French, you'll like it better, doesn't lose as much. I really liked how these people acted, even though the plot led them to things that were a little too extreme or severe.
Cinematography: The look of the film was good. Between some scenes they had these 6-8 sec moments of blurry art bodies in blood or flame, a nice little "what's that about?". It does get explained and the blood and gore effects are nice. It's great when murder happens during the day, in the light. Then you can see the blood and guts even better.
Script: As mentioned in the acting category, the translation is not as good as the original French, Also those of you who live in or at least remember spending considerable time in Quebec will appreciate the subtle language nuances, the Quebec only slang happens once of twice, and rare moments are lost in translation. Still the story is well told, though a little too much Spielberism, that being the cramming of symbolism down our throats, just in case we weren't paying attention. I prefer subtle, but this yells out loud and clear what's going on. If this were plain old English, this would get a 7, but because I liked the original version in French better, it gets...
Plot: The story is actually quite intriguing. A horror writer is committed after witnessing a cop mow down a whole bunch of children, because he chops his fingers off with a paper slicer (ew). Turns out he feels guilty somehow, and the cop that did it had no plans on going to commit the act, just a spur of the moment type thing. This psychiatrist asks around and ends up in the writer's home village, and the connections all link up in a really neat dramatic unraveling. The end is pretty damn good too.
Mood: The overall mood was enhanced by the moments of artistic blood and gore, though the hyper dramatic feeding took away the "being right there" feel, since it was almost as though every scene added "Get it?" elements. The backstory and the characters were interesting enough, and though good, nothing special.
Overall Rating: 78% (Wicked!)
Aftertaste: This is one of those films that you are pleasantly surprised with. Another one of the wonderful moments of ON DEMAND television and I'm glad I chose this, otherwise I never would have even heard about it. A little medium budget film from Quebec with a nice storyline and some realistic and decent gore without too much melodrama. A horror story with a solid premise and a great little unfolding plot. Happy!