Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sheitan (2006)

A group of drunken friends are joined by their cute bartender, who invites them out to stay in her beautiful country home. Once they arrive, they are introduced to her deranged housekeeper, Joseph, and the rest of the town's strange inhabitants. As the night goes on, sex, drugs, and alcohol begin to steer the conversation, and Joseph tells them a tale of a poor farmer who sold his soul to the devil. From here, things quickly grow out of control as Joseph becomes their instrument of destruction in the name of Sheitan! SHEITAN is a twisted mind-bender that can't help but draw comparisons to 2004's CALVAIRE. Director Kim Chapiron spends the majority of the time developing his freakishly off-setting characters, which pays off in the end when all hell finally breaks loose. The weight of the film's success lies in the hands of Vincent Cassel as the demented Joseph, who leaves the viewer in a state of unease well before any of the true horror sets in. His commanding on-screen presence when he is pleasant and smiling is frightening enough, but when he shifts into serious mode, he is downright terrifying. Although they are all drunken, horny buffoons, the rest of the cast members put in solid efforts as well, even if it is unlikely that the audience will side with them in the end. Chapiron might have considered fleshing out more of the backstory behind Joseph and his depraved family, but as it stands, SHEITAN is a devilishly good time!

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked SHEITAN, check out:
FRONTIER(S), CALVAIRE, HORROR.

14 comments:

  1. I had never heard of this one before, but it sounds interesting and will put in on my list to check to see if they have it at our local video store.

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  2. I had a lot of fun with SHEITAN, brother, and glad to see you did apparently, too. It's an Xmas-time staple in my neck of the woods. Cassel gives an amazing and energetic performance, and while the horror aspects are sorta murky, it comes with an ever-present sense of "uh-oh" dread that permeates the whole flick. A definite winner.

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  3. never heard of it to be honest Carl, but the sheer fact of you hitting it's ass with an 8 is a kinda convincing argument to hunt it down.

    sounds pretty damn awesome.

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  4. You had me when you said it can compare to Calvaire! That movie freaked my freak out, so gonna search for this one, too!

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  5. I'd passed it over all-too frequently, but after finally popping it in I really kicked myself. J. I'm glad you found this one too, and everyone else definitely be sure to grab it in addition to Calvaire if you haven't seen either yet!

    Wings it may be on Netflix, maybe even on Instant? Not sure, but worth looking!

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  6. Carl - Yeah, it is on Netflix, in my queue now. Not available for Instant, at least not right now.

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  7. Wow, it's good to know that we can still disagree, Carl.

    Nothing about the film drew me in or really 'wow-ed' me. I'd rate it closer to four or five. It had good aspects, but did nothing for me as a whole.

    Of course, you're comparing it to 'Calvaire,' a movie I also didn't like. The 'torture for torture's sake' films just do nothing for me. I know the violence in films is fake (save for the animals in 'C.H.'), so why would a film that only has violence appeal to me?

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  8. This movie sounds crazy!... in a good way. I love these crazy horror movies, I just saw Scar 3D and it was nuts.

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  9. See I'm surprised that this even gets lumped into the torture genre, there is really very little violence compared to Calvaire and especially Hostel or The Devil's Rejects. Now Alec, when you pass along those scores are you using a 5 or a 7 as your mean average? The ratings systems on everyone else's sites range, I use 7 as a strictly average film rating, so a 4 or 5 would be an abysmal failure on my super duper rate-o-matic

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  10. ...and I have been hearing a lot of buzz on Scar3D, primarily in sly comments by the filmmakers. Send out screeners and we will be the judges.

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  11. same here, I just hated it. it bored me to death. nothing in this film was interesting, shocking or thrilling. I prefer Calvaire.

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  12. Yeah, I don't think that the 'Calvaire' comparison is apt. Hell, this film is from France and 'Calvaire' is from Belgium. That's not the same country!

    As far as my rating, I generally avoid numerical ones for that reason. I was listing it on a scale of 1-10. It's below average for me, due its poor execution of a premise that might work.

    By the way, if you haven't yet, look into the background of the guys behind it. It might give you a better insight into how the hell this film got made.

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  13. Still haven't seen this one, but it's on my list. I'll get to it eventually. When I read your synopsis, I instantly thought of Frontiers, which I see in your "if you liked" section.

    And Calvaire is listed under three countries on IMDB: as France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. I think it has very French sensibilities about it (in addition to it being in the French language).

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  14. For me, the likeness to Calvaire is driven more by the off-putting villagers and eccentric villain than it is by the country of origin. If Sheitan could be compared to any other film, Calvaire would have to be the closest. Just think of the strange dance scene in the tavern =D

    Becks I thought I mistakenly put in Frontier(s) when the film began, the intros are eerily similar! You need to watch it all the more now that it seems to have split audience's opinions!

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