Three French horror movies saw the light of day during 2009. Not only those three of course, but three that have some similarities and isn’t mentioned so much in the horror community. In a way I can understand why, because neither of them will change the world or French cinema – but at least one of them is very good, and one very bad – and then we have one in between.
First out is Humains, with a very competent cast - Dominique Pinon and Philippe Nahon for example – and a nice concept. Our team of scientists is set out to some remote valley in Swiss to try to find more remains of Neanderthals, to prove that they died much later than everyone thinks. Of course everything gets fucked up after a car crash and our heroes – together with a hiking family – is stuck in the wilderness together with a gang of very alive Neanderthals who just want to have some fun.
This could have been great, but somehow the director and team decided to skip all the gore, make the monsters look like something out of a Disney-movie and also add a not so surprising twist in the end which we’ve seen around one thousand times before. It’s more of an adventure movie, but remove the gore-less kills and you will have a family movie. Pinon and Nahon leads a very competent cast, though they are not the leads – but that, and the amazing location, is the one and only selling point of Humains. Which is a pity, it had a lot of potential.
Mutants is a much more interesting movie. Set after the outbreak (where almost everyone has been infected by some rage-virus and acts like bloodthirsty zombies!) and first we follow a small group people that quickly becomes smaller after a couple of bad choices. In the end there’s a only two people left and they hide out in an old hospital far out in the forest. One of them is bitten…
Here we at least someone who tries to make something new. The outbreak-part of the movie is the same old shit, but instead of focusing on that we’re treated with a bleak and depressing journey to save someone that’s infected – and it ends with a lot of bloodshed and thrills! I don’t want to say to much about Mutants, it’s a good movie but different from the others in a very good way.
Last, but not least, we have Vertige (or High Lane as the English title is). We follow some young folks hiking in the mountains and of course they’re gonna do some dangerous mountain climbing too. But of course something goes wrong and they’re stuck far out in the wilderness with a god damn cannibal chasing them down one after one!
This is feels a lot like a French Wrong Turn, but with mountain climbing and set in Croatia. Now, I like it. It’s far from a bad movie and it’s very well acted and excellent direction. But it has the same problem like for example Dying Breed, we’ve seen it before and it’s getting a bit boring. It’s easy to say what’s gonna happen and that’s of course the only big failure of this movie. The climbing scenes is amazing by the way, and me, who hate heights, it was a true ordeal to get thru those scenes. Not a bad movie, just a bit to generic.
So you all see, three movies set in amazing, fantastic, beautiful landscapes with a few people against Neanderthals, mutants and cannibals. It’s a perfect trio, but in the end very similar to each other. Mutants stick out as the best one and the only one I will recommend to 100 %!