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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Left Bank (2008) - Horror Cult

Left Bank (2008) - The original name "Linkeroever" this film from Belgium is a slow burn horror movie that finishes strongly. The opening scenes are of a woman checking out the arcitecture floor plans of her apartment building, she fiinds a space in the wall and crawls through into the darkness, then the movie proper satrts.
Marie (Eline Kuppens) is a young successful middle distance runner training hard for the championships in Portugal. When she runs into medical problems with an exhaustion condition she has to stop her training. At about the same time she meets Bobby(Mattias Schoenaerts) a handsome archer and they start dating. He is the Dean of an archery guild and there relationship develops quickly. It could be the graphic sex scenes that capture the hot passion of an early relationship but the bonding happens fast and before long she is moving in with him in his high rise apartment. We get to see that he now lives in the same apartment the dissappeared woman from the start of the film lived. The building is across the river from Antwerp on what is called the Left Bank. The view certainly is beautiful from the balcony. We quickly see that Marie is a bit freaked out by some of the other residents in the apartment building. Some creey bald guys who might be Russian. Bobby likes them thjough and tells her not to worry about them. Living with Bobby we see Marie noticing a bit of strangeness in her payyies, a black dust, wierd. The film tumbles along ever so slowly showing the audience ever increasingly disturbing images. Marie out running on the left bank comes across a crying infant at what looks like a rain leanto she breast feeds it to get it to stop crying and we flash to what looks like Bobby as the baby attached to her. Across from where she is sitting is a hole in the ground the camera closes on. No more explanation of this, next she is waking up, was it a dream?
The slow build continues as she learns from a neighbor about the disappeared woman and her boyfriend and marie receives a box of stuff to try to get to the man. She is also showing signs of being pregnant so maybe that is the significance of the baby dream. In the shower we see her again with the black powder in the drain. Is it sooty over on the left bank?
As she finds out more ever so slowly we see her relationship and health start to decline. She gets this bruised knee that gets worse and worse through the movie with a black infection that takes over the whole knee.
I don't want to go on too much about the plot because I think this one is worth checking out. She learns more about the archery guild, the ancient location that the apartment building sits on. She gets to question just who her boyfriend is and we find out if she learns the truth about the guild of the dragon too late. The last twenty minutes are very good building to a surprising climax.The filming itself is very good, somewhat natural lit interior scenes with good use of closeup and reaction shots. There are mixed in some lovely scenic shot of the surrounding area on the left bank. The director Peiter Van Hees has a very nice eye, but could have benefited from some more painful editing
Rating (6.3) 5.0 and up are recommended in the Zombiegrrlz system Rent It!

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