This article was last modified on July 21, 2017.


Fantasia 2017 Film Review: “Le Manoir”

A band of students comes to celebrate the New Year in an old manor house isolated from everything. But soon after their arrival, strange events disrupt the atmosphere, before the party turns squarely into a nightmare.

“Le Manoir” is a film that requires a little bit of patience. If you were to only watch the first ten or twenty minutes and then walk out, you would leave thinking this is just another slasher film about twentysomethings getting picked off one by one. For some people that may be a good film, but others will find it to be something that is a tired genre. If the 1980s did not beat the slasher into the ground, the early 2000s killed it.

But wait! Wait! This is not just another slasher. It is a farce, an inversion of the classic slasher with some spot on humor that is desperately needed. In much the same way that “Tucker and Dale Versus Evil” twisted the redneck / hillbilly trope around, “Le Manoir” successfully bends the And-Then-There-Were-None trope into a comically exhilarating mess.

When the young folks are not busy being killed off one by one, often in humorous ways, we are treated to some strange jokes that only those with a dark sense of humor can appreciate. A man who is ridiculously well-endowed has it used against him. Some folks have never heard of “taxidermy” before, apparently. Animals that seem more at home in Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” make some cameos. And a collar-popping party boy runs into bear traps. Oh, wait, what about the running joke about Oscar Pistorius? Poor taste or comedic brilliance?

All the stereotypes are here, from the shy girl to the loose girl to the drug addict and more. But they may not turn out to be used in the stereotypical way. On top of this, it is a costume party, so looks could be deceiving. French humorist Ludovik appears as Ron Weasley, and this makes him appear less formidable than he would otherwise be, for example.

“Le Manoir” is a challenge to review, but a real joy to watch. This is the sort of horror comedy that would play well with an audience and could easily grow in reputation as it ages. The film screens at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 21, 2017 and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

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