Saturday, 3 July 2010


I rented this out from Exeter Library and really loved it. Most of my favourite horror movies of the last couple of years have been European: REC, Let The Right One In, Martyrs, Haute Tension, Dead Snow, Inside, Frontier(s), The Ordeal. Now Belgian movie LEFT BANK (Linkeroever - 2008) joins the list. This debut feature from Pieter Van Hees is the story of runner Marie (played by Eline Kuppens) who due to overdoing it on the track is thrown together with weirdo/charmer Bobby (Matthias Schoenaerts). After Marie's doctor tells her to take it easy for a couple of months she moves into a estate in Antwerp called The Left Bank, where Bobby resides in a towerblock surrounded by odd neighbours.
The film is a bit of a slow burner - playing with a Polanskian tempo reminiscent of Rosemary's Baby - but remains convincing and entirely gripping. Like Rosemary Woodhouse, Marie soon becomes victim of an ancient Witch Cult. They seem to have her groomed for sacrifice in a tar pit beneath the towerblock on November 1st (Samhain), but a thought provoking twist opens up other possibilities as to why marie has been singled out. For me the horror she endures culminates in a really positive ending...I actually felt really upbeat after watching Left Bank!

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