20 June 2011 | claudio_carvalho
Promising, but not Well Developed Story
When Lucas Frantz (Axel Kiener) invites his friends to visit his hometown Village de Ruiflec, they head in two cars to spend the weekend. The driver Hugo Kerimba (Djedje Apali), Marion Valeyre (Ornella Boulé), Stan and his girlfriend Katia Brezinsky (Lucia Bruxelle) follows the car of Lucas, David Fontana (Cyrille Thouvenin), his girlfriend Lila Paredes (Bárbara Goenaga), Marion's estranged sister Emma Valeyre (Christa Theret) and Mathias (Jonathan Cohen) through the lonely winding road in a rainy night. Out of the blue, Hugo steps on the gas and overtakes the other car. Sooner, Lucas, David, Lila, Emma and Mathias find Hugo's car left on the road with the doors open and the passengers missing. They walk to Ruiflec to find shelter and a telephone to call the other group. But they learn that they are trapped in Ruiflec and an evil entity does not allow them to leave the village.
"Le Village des Ombres" is a promising, but not well developed story of a group of friends that travel together to spend a couple of days in a small village and they discover that they can never leave the cursed place, like in the lyrics of Eagle's "Hotel California ("Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. Relax, said the night man, we are programmed to receive. You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!")
The acting is great, but the characters are poorly developed. The cinematography is very dark, but the pace is too slow. The art of the DVD cover is stylish. Unfortunately the plot is messy and does not work very well despite of the twists. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Vila das Sombras" ("Village of the Shadows")