Saturday, February 25, 2017

Women in Horror Mini-Reviews: Trouble Every Day and Consommé

* Trouble Every Day

* spoilers *

Americans and newlyweds Shane and June Brown travel to Paris for their honeymoon. What June doesn't know is that Shane desperately needs to find a neuroscientist to cure him of a terrible disease that puts his new bride in danger. Trouble Every Day is a slow film that essentially goes nowhere. It follows two couples: Shane and June, Léo and Coré. Shane frantically tries to find Léo while keeping June in the dark. June enjoys Paris as a tourist and stays rather oblivious until near the end. Léo is struggling to find a cure for a bizarre disease that forces the afflicted to eat their lover when they have sex. Coré is afflicted and locked in the house when her husband is gone. She typically gets out to brutally murder and eat men while having sex with them. Béatrice Dalle is amazing as Coré, magnetic, manic, and above all deranged. After her feeding frenzy, Coré loathes herself and her life that forces her to murder. She is no longer the gleeful hunter away from the sex and murder. Almost all of the scenes of sexual and cannibalistic violence are committed by Coré surprisingly enough, considering that sexual violence usually targets women.  

There's something about Shane that I simply didn't like. Maybe it's Vincent Gallo's vibe, but he seemed sleazy to me. I didn't want him to succeed and I wanted him to disappear. He constantly badgers the lab where Léo used to work, making them not want to even talk him. They finally give him Léo's address and he finds Coré covered in blood, lighting the house on fire. She attacks him and he leaves her dead to return home with no cure. June becomes upset after Shane rejects her and opts to masturbate in the middle of their lovemaking. He turns to a maid the film had previously followed through her day to day life for sex and bites her to death in the most brutal scene of cannibalism in the film. The fact that he bites her clitoris off really disturbed me, especially when Coré's attacks had not been as brutal. The film ends as it began with no cure and no hope. I like parts of Trouble Every Day. Béatrice Dalle is always amazing and Claire Denis' direction is unique. I can definitely see its place in French cinema especially in reference to the new French extremity movement. However, as a whole, it's disappointing and goes nowhere. There are long stretches of time that feel wasted.

My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins

* Consommé

* spoilers *

A woman has a fight with a man and leaves her apartment in the middle of the night. She's automatically assaulted by street harassment including a guy telling her to smile and then calling her a bitch when she doesn't, a car that followers her and then lingers, and then finally a man who drags and kicks her into an alley to rape her. These scenes are intercut with future scenes of the woman waking up with bruises and cuts and feeling nauseous. Just when I thought it would end predictably, she turns and attacks him with a guttural cry, ripping into his flesh with her teeth. She bites of his ear first and makes a feast of his face. The film ends with her throwing up the ear and some flesh, flossing her teeth and brushing her teeth.

The woman is surrounded by male toxicity from whoever is yelling at her in her apartment to the random strangers that harass her to the one that decides to try to rape her. Her simply leaving the house seems to be an affront to these men. The man who tells her to smile and then calls her bitch is the typical reaction for a guy who is attracted to a woman and then has to insult her when he's soundly rejected or ignored. The other forms of street harassment are more invasive like the car following her every move. I'm sure the rapist expected an easy mark out by herself, but she most likely killed him for his trouble. I love the image in the end of her flossing his flesh out of her teeth like its a minor inconvenience and then going on with her day. She doesn't let harassment or attacks stop her from doing what she wants. She may be bruised and a little cut, but alive and ready to face the day. For a 5 minute film, it says volumes.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

* Sorry about the weird colors in the post. Copying and pasting accent marks was not a good idea. 

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