Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
and Melvil Poupaud
What's it about
A French couple stumbles upon a joint suicide. When the surviving woman turns out to be a beautiful blonde, her male hero falls for her and distances himself from his girl. Oh, and there’s this video game everyone is obsessed with.
Is it good movie?
Black Heaven is one of those movies that falls somewhere in between. Part of the time, I was bored of my ass. Part of the time, I found the film strangely interested. But sometimes foreign movies are like that. I am drawn into the unusual environment and the different characteristics that come with, well, foreign people. It's not like the French are so different from us here in North America, but it’s the little things that differ.
But wait…I’ll get off subject real quickly, so let me go back to talking about the movie. Black Heaven reminds me a little bit of a Roman Polanski film. Hold on, I don’t mean it as good as a Polanski film but it's striving to be somewhere near it. Polanski’s on a different scale, but this movie has those underlying themes of obsession and desire that seems to radiate many of Polanski. And it has Polanski staple in the beautiful foreign femme fatale. This movie’s femme has a few things strange about her. 1) The tattoo of heaven on her back that says “heaven.” 2) She has a suicidal death wish. 3) She's got a sick thing for brother. 4) And she plays a lot of video games. Probably these things don't make her all that unique, but it does make for an interesting character. Plus, she’s sexy as hell… that always helps.
The movie starts with a simple enough premise. A young couple finds a cell phone and decides to take a peek. Quickly, they are drawn into the mystery of who is texting who and they decide to track down the people and follow ‘em, which leads to their attempted suicide. But when the young man, Gaspard, saves her, he quickly falls for her. At the same time, a videogame much like Sims has taken over France and people are so wrapped up that they will do anything another character tells them…including die! What follows is a little ridiculous as Gaspard gets drawn into the game and the woman so quickly without really any reason. It’s all a little far fetched and simple, but it’s interesting enough to keep attention. Especially on that tattoo.
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of nice sound (screener copy). It's French with words for you to read.
The movie never dives into the horror category but becomes more of a cautionary tale of suspense and love. Plus, it’s French…whatever that means.