Title: Le Nécrophile

Also known as:

Year: 2004

Genre: Art House / Surrealism / Drama

Language: French

Runtime: 35 min

Director: Philippe Barassat

Writer: Philippe Barassat

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0428902/

Life is hard for M. Montaldo. He's a cockroach-eating necrophile. He lives a quiet life, and does little harm. Except for dragging home dead bodies for sexual pleasure. Things get more complicated for him when he has to take care of his cousin. A little girl who finds out about his secret.

Our thoughts:
For someone like me, who usually doesn't enjoy the films made by Tim Burton but who still likes films with the themes he uses (often dark, semi-artistic and dealing with death), it's always nice when you find a film with the themes but still is intended for older viewers rather than youngsters. I often find Tim Burton's films to be rather childish and he's often forcing his characters to be odd in a way that will appeal to teenage girls. "Le Nécrophile" is nothing like this, so the resemblances ends at both his films and this one are attempts at German expressionism.

In this beautiful necrophile story, we have a man (who looks like Rodney Dangerfield) who lives in total loneliness. The little contact he has with the female sex is when he brings home corpses to pleasure himself with. When he has to take care of his orphaned cousin, his life turns more complicated as he has to hide his horrible secret from the little girl. This is the basic plot of this film, but the power of the film lies in it's beauty and unique style. It's not to be viewed as a depraved story, but rather as art. Imagine a musical (without the singing) mixed with the style of "Nosferatu". That's basicly what this film feels like. It's obviously a tribute to German expressionism, and I'd go as far as saying that there hasn't been a better tribute (or genre film) in the 21st century. Atleast none that I've seen. But then again, German expressionism isn't a big genre and it's peak was in the 1920's with films like (above mentioned) "Nosferatu" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". It's a shame, because the genre shouldn't have as mainstream tributes as Tim Burton are making. His films are to German expressionism, what "Grindhouse" is to the exploitation/underground genre. A mainstream portal that works for people who aren't familiar with the genres it's tributing. Anyway, back to the film. The ending of the film might be the most beautiful part of the entire film. It has the necrophile and the little girl on the cemetery, walking towards the moon (every scene involving the sky or the moon in this film are great), and a group of zombies following them while doing some strange dance. It just looks so stunning and I couldn't have wished for a better ending to this tale.

"Le Nécrophile" is a smart and beautiful German expressionism tribute that doesn't stray too far from the films it's tributing, but still maintaining originality. A fan of Tim Burton could enjoy this, but you'd probably need some experience in underground and art house films before you check it out.

Positive things:
- Good acting. The quirkyness felt appropriate.
- Beautiful set design and cinematography.
- Not longer than it should be.
Negative things:
- I saw it without subtitles. But it's actually a silent film that uses high-pitched bird-sounding noises instead of voices (with intertitles in French). I translated a few of the intertitles while watching it, and it helped, but it could be watched either way.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 1.5/5
Story: 3.5/5
Effects: 4/5
Comedy: 2/5

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