7/07/2014

CHIMERES (Review)

Title: Chimeres
Director: Oliver Beguin
Writers: Oliver Beguin and Colin Vettier
Cast: Yasna Kohoutova, Yannick Rosset, and Catriona Maccoll 

On vacation in Romania, Alexandre (Yannick Rosset), a photographer, and his pretty girlfriend Livia (Yasna Koehoutova) enjoy the beauty of the city. After getting drunk at a bar, they leave only to have him get hit by a car. At the hospital, he gets transfused with contaminated blood.  He only notices this when he reads an article in the paper (well she reads it to him, as he can't read Romanian). He begins to get paranoid. But, what seemed to be all in his mind at first turns into reality, as he saves himself and her from getting mugged by a gang of thugs. Soon, he must quench his blood thirst, while she, being the loving GF that she is, gives him a hand.

I had the pleasure of catching Chimeres two weeks ago at TromaDance in Brooklyn, NY. It features some excellent acting by the whole cast. Particularly good are our two leads who make the movie work even if at first it seems like the premise might be silly (though it ends it up not being so, thankfully). The transformation of Alexandre is handled very nicely by Rosset. He does a fine job of going from nice to paranoid to killing machine. The gorgeous Koehoustova is also her role. She's so good in her performance that I fully accept her staying with him. And, the film makes you cheer her on as the it progresses all the way to the end. In many ways, her character is a us, as she is the most rateable person in the movie. She also gets naked and shows her wondrous, small boobies on camera. She even takes a literal bloodbath. Score! Euro horror fans will be super pleased that the gorgeous Italian scream queen Catriona (The Beyond) Maccoll has a small but well done role in it as well.

While, this is certainly great, there is one thing that people might have a problem with at first. It's really slow. And, I admit I kinda struggled with it at times. I also wasn't fully sold at first with the vampiric disease. But, the last third of the film I was sold on and was completely into it. From here on it becomes a full throttle action film and kicks major fucking ass! It turns super exciting and ultra-violent.

During the film's climax, the action itself hits a 10 on the meter. You will end up cheering your ass off and really loving it just the way I did. The fight choreography is excellent. And, what I really ove about these scenes, is that you see all the action. It doesn't cut away or has that annoying MTV style editing that American action filmmakers seem to jerk-off to and spray on the camera lens. It all leads to a beautifully done and perfectly handled and ending the proceedings.

The excellent makeup FX is bloody well done. Among the gore included are literal bloodbaths, splattering blood, throat rippings, bludgeonings, bitings, and more. Another highlight is Beguin's directing. This may be his first film, but you know he has a stellar future in the genre ahead of him. The movie is gorgeous looking and proves to be another well-made hit from France. Combine this with the editing and you have one of the best looking vampire films, along with Byzantium, in recent memory.

Chimeres is well worth you giving it your time and patience. Sure you may think it drags at first and you might not even really get into it, but stick with it. Because the payoff is just to fucking badass for you to stop it or, even worse, miss completely. This one ain't on DVD yet, but when it comes out be sure to see it. Causes it really is a stylish loving tribute to European horror by way of a Crazies/ 28 Days Later spin on bloodsuckers, with a good mix of drama and killer action.

*** out of ****

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