Dir. Claude Chabrol. 2004. N/R. 111mins. Benoît Magimel, Laura Smet.
When French suspense specialist Chabrol first adapted a title by English crime novelist Ruth Rendell, the result was 1995’s superb La Cérémonie Sadly, Bridesmaid isn’t a patch on that disturbing psycho-thriller.
Magimel plays a handsome, buttoned-down mama’s boy who falls hard for Smet, a high-maintenance sexpot in the grand French tradition of Béatrice Dalle in Betty Blue and Isabelle Adjani in L’Été Meurtrier. The poor boy misses the opportunity to skedaddle the first time she proposes that they each commit a Leopold-and-Loeb-style thrill killing as proof of their perfect passion and superiority to the masses. There’s also some murky symbolic business involving a carved stone head that belongs to his mom but looks like the crazy girlfriend. Eh.—Cliff Doerksen