An insanely disquieting film with many creepy weirdos. It’s like a mixture between forced hospitality à la Stephen King’s „Misery“ and business of degenerated famiiles à la Wes Craven’s „The Hills have Eyes“ or Tobe Hooper’s „Chain Saw Massacre“. And the moral: Don’t get lost in the Belgian countryside.
I'll always remember this, as it was the first movie I rented after moving to the city for film school. It was suggested by a clerk, and I've watched it many times. Beautiful and artistic, yet still maintains a tense and shocking horror edge. The central performance is hard to watch as Marc is stripped of his masculinity - or is it humanity? Though I never realized before, it takes the piss out of "torture porn".
Why are women horror protagonists a standard? Du Welz pushes audiences out of their comfort zone and into self-awareness with complex gender inequalities. The irrational nature of Marc's mistaken identity (with the compellingly off-screened Gloria) forces viewers to ask why sexualized violence against one sex is mainstream content in cinema. Calvaire is horror doing what it does best: holding a mirror up to society.