Monday, January 14, 2013

Mais Ne Nous Deliverez Pas du Mal (Joël Séria,1971)

Sometimes you watch a Satanic movie for some supernatural hijinks, but sometimes you get to see young Satanic people as what they tend to be; obnoxious assholes. Now, believe me, I am not opposed to Laveyan Satanism, but let's face facts, many a young sociopath hangs their hat on Satan's hook... Whatever, let's move on.

Mais Ne Nous Deliverez Pas du Mal (aka Don't Deliver Us from Evil) brings us Anne and Lore; two rich teenagers who attend a convent boarding school during the week, and get to return to their parent on weekends. Anne is the daughter of a noble, and Lore is the daughter of a bourgeois family. The two are fairly obsessed early on with common teenage themes; sex and Satan.

To be frank, the two are a pair of little assholes. Lore is a cocktease, who likes to entice men and then spurn their advances once things get serious. Anne is both leader and follower. She has more resources for their plans, but Lore has the drive. Eventually they have the village idiot officiate their wedding, but prior they just ran around causing mischief... when they graduate to burning a house down and eventually murder, they get themselves into hot water.

It is a rather good film, on the whole. The characters are unlikeable, but that is the point. It is apparently based on a story of two Australian kids who got into similar trouble. Often the most disturbing part is the sexuality of two girls who we believe are 14, but the actresses are both over 18. Still, it can feel rather pervy to leer at them. They act like teenagers, which creates some of the film's best tension. There are numerous scenes of them riding their bikes and having typical fun. When they get into criminal activity it is a stark contrast, and then they return to being plain-old kids.

This is less a "don't mess with Satan, kids" film and more one to scare the pants off of parents. The finale likely makes those with teenagers squirm, and is pretty impressively spooky to the rest of us as well.

This is a good one to check out for horror fans who have become a bit jaded. No monsters, no magic, the devil never appears; like all good horror movies, the monster is man.

2 comments:

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Sounds absolutely charming.

Darius Whiteplume said...

It certainly has its moments :-)

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