The Ordeal

Release Date: August 11, 2006
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Limited release

I bet there's a giant salami in here!

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47/76 Dan Krovich A nice attempt to take a standard horror plot to new places, but it doesn't quite work.

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Marc Stevens is a handsome, charming lounge singer whose van breaks down as he's traveling from one holiday gig to another. As he stands in the late-night pouring rain, Marc decides to head off into the night thanks to the advice of a Belgian lunatic called Boris. Marc is in search of a little hotel in an obscure location. The Hotel Bartel seems to be centered in the midst of inbred locals, with a strange and lonely little man - Mr. Bartel - for an owner. Although the hotel is dusky and remote, Marc is just looking to have a place to spend the night.

Mr. Bartel tells Marc that he'll get the van repaired as quickly as possible, but instead Marc soon finds himself stuck in this creepy place. As he wanders the area, he comes across some nonsensical freaks who are having sex with some of the local livestock. Understandably, he returns to the hotel, but Marc isn't exactly safe there, either. It seems that both Mr. Bartel and the aforementioned Boris are crazy people. Marc tries to escape, but Mr. Bartel has become somewhat attached to his new visitor. What follows is, shall we say, unpleasant.

This Belgian take on the "inbred hillbilly" genre sounds pretty rough. It's being distributed by the indie folks at Palm Pictures, who never shy away from stuff that is different or unusual. Look for it to find some life among horror aficionados who like their horror atmospheric and graphic. (Kim Hollis) (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Ordeal
Main Cast Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon
Supporting Cast Jean-Luc Couchard, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigni, Philippe Grand'Henry,, Jo Prestia, Marc Lefebvre, Alfred David, Alain Delaunois, Vincent Cahay, Johan Meys
Director Fabrice Du Welz
Screenwriter Fabrice Du Welz, Romain Protat
Distributor Palm Pictures
Rating Unrated
Running Time 94 minutes
Screen Count 1
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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