usual, no internet use goes unpunished in the movies. This time, Michel Bellmer will
provide our object lesson. He is an adventurer who specializes in conning
lonely women out of money. He also engages in strange occult rites, but he is
nothing compared to the psychopathic women he unfortunately charms. Belgian
extreme auteur Fabrice du Welz darkly riffs on the already pretty macabre case
of the “Lonely Hearts Killers” throughout Alleluia
which releases today on DVD, from Doppelganger Releasing.
Bellmer’s pre-date photo burning ritual worked, because mousy Gloria falls for
him hard. After an uncharacteristic one night stand, she is only too happy to
loan him money for his supposedly struggling business. Of course, women like
Gloria are Bellmer’s business—and he is already working on his next deal.
However, Gloria is not ready to move on. She tracks him down, but instead of
demanding her money back, she offers to be his accomplice, as long as they can
periodically steal some intimate time together.
has one stipulation—no more sex with the marks. Although Bellmer agrees, he
knows there is no better way to seal the deal than offering a little sugar.
Unfortunately, whenever he tries to hurry things along, Gloria erupts in a
lethal jealous fury. Frankly, she is the past the point of being bad for
business, but Bellmer is stuck with her.
if Alleluia was not creepy enough,
lead actor Laurent Lucas was the victim of an internet death hoax a few months
ago. Happily it was bogus, but this feels exactly like the sort of film that could
become notorious for the curse-like deaths of its cast-members. Strictly
speaking, it is an earthly serial killer film, but Manu Dacosse’s tripped out,
massively feverish cinematography gives it all a supernatural looking haze. Du
Welz and co-screenwriter Vincent Tavier are pretty vague on the
geo-particulars, so for all we know, it could be in one of the outer circles of
Hell. It certainly starts to feel that way for Bellmer.
hopefully very alive and kicking Lucas is terrific as Bellmer, convincingly
portraying his unique character development arc, from sociopathic ladies man to
psychotically henpecked common law husband. However, Almodóvar regular Lola Dueñas
is the black soul at the center of the film. She is profoundly unsettling as
the deeply disturbed Gloria (and vice versa). It is also worth noting the fine
work of Héléna Noguerra as the rebooted Lonely Hearts Killers’ third
prospective victim, the well-to-do widowed mother, Solange. She brings real
presence to what could have been a largely disposable role.
This should go without saying, but if the French
lover you just met over the internet wants to move in with his unstable Spanish
sister, you need to put your foot down and say no. Alleluia should surely will not do any favors for online dating
services. Instead, it is an unusually impressive genre film, but it might
actually be too effective, by not giving us any breathing space in between the
psychotic episodes. Tense and disorienting, Alleluia
is recommended for fans of art-house horror when it releases today (10/6)
on DVD and BluRay.
Labels: Belgian Cinema, DVD, Fabrice du Welz, Horror Movies