Carrère is an entrepeneus who has to go to jail after he gets caught playing with his finances. He hopes to get out on bail pretty soon so when he enters prison he doesn’t really interest himself in his fellow inmates as there are Lasalle, a man obsessed with books so much that he killed his wife for them, Pâquerette, a youngster who was raised between pigs and eats everything he can put his hands on including his 6 months old baby sister, and Marcus, a violent transvestite. Before long, Carrère finds out that his wife is leaving him and has taken all his money and the chance that he’ll see his son again is minimal.
One day, the prisoners find a hole in the wall in which a book is hidden. It appears to be written by Charles Danvers, a serial killer that occupied himself with black magic and who supposedly managed to escape from this same prison years ago. Since there’s no chance they’ll be able to get away legally, the inmates start reading the book and find out that there are spells in it that should give them the possibility to escape. But who plays with evil should not be surprised that their wishes are not granted exactly as they had imagined…
Sound and Vision:
Almost the entire movie is shot within the four walls of the jail cell which means there is little light and lots of shadows but that doesn’t really hurt the image quality. Everything is clearly visible and there’s more than enough detail. Compression errors are absent.
The soundtrack is very detailed and from the first second it manages to create a very tension-filled atmosphere. Not a track with loads of special effects like big budget movies, but subtle use of all channels, just enough to add an extra layer of atmosphere. Good stuff.
Maléfique may not be such a known movie and the fact that it’s French probably won’t help either but if there’s ever a French horror movie you HAVE to see it’s this one. The small cell, the four extraordinary but (strangely enough) believeable characters, the tension and the good acting make this horror flic stand above the average. Too bad there aren’t any decent extras.