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Calvaire: The Ordeal (2006)

Laurent Lucas , Brigitte Lahaie , Fabrice Du Welz  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigny, Jean-Luc Couchard, Jackie Berroyer
  • Directors: Fabrice Du Welz
  • Writers: Fabrice Du Welz, Romain Protat
  • Producers: Donato Rotunno, Eddy Géradon-Luyckx, Guillaume Malandrin, Michael Gentile, Philippe Kauffmann
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000GRUR14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,027 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Calvaire: The Ordeal" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Making of" featurette
  • U.S. theatrical trailer
  • Weblinks

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

A Belgian horror film with a stylish if slightly self-conscious take on all sorts of overlapping nightmares from the likes of Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Psycho, Calvaire: The Ordeal is the strange story of a traveling musician, Marc (Laurent Lucas), whose van breaks down on a country road. Running across an inn owned by Bartel (Jackie Berroyer), Marc feels at ease until a walk through a nearby village reveals the town’s taste in bestiality, and Bartel later indicates he has unwholesome designs on his guest. Terrifying, depraved stuff follows, capped by a gruesome climax that gives Tobe Hooper a run for his money. The debut feature of director Fabrice du Welz, Calvaire is enormously intense if calculating in its depiction of pure chaos. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

In the tradition of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, PSYCHO and DELIVERANCE comes this chilling Belgian horror that pushes the limits of shock filmmaking. Director and co-writer Fabrice Du Welz masterfully evokes a sense of deeply disturbing terror as Marc Stevens’ world goes profoundly and utterly wrong. When his car breaks down in the middle of the isolated backcountry, he’s forced to seek refuge in a rural inn. Marc is taken in by Bartel, a lonely and psychologically fragile innkeeper who promises to help. But when Marc catches him dismantling his car, he realizes that the innkeeper has other plans for him – sadistic plans that will push him to the bounds of human pain and suffering.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Disturbing; unsettling, weird; uncomfortable - these are just a few of the adjectives that most come to mind when I reflect upon this uniquely creepy film. The English title is The Ordeal, but ordeal really isn't an adequate description of what this film's protagonist endures over the course of this 90-minute film. I looked "Calvaire" up online and found that it translates from French to English as martyrdom or living death - yep, that's pretty much spot on, as I think all viewers of this film will agree. I like my horror as deep and disturbing as I can find it, yet I've never developed a real affinity for exploitation films or for the types of films that admittedly influenced Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz (including the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and I don't believe anyone, (including this film's biggest fans) can say they actually enjoyed this cinematic experience - yet there's something special and certainly compelling about Calvaire. Even though I didn't interpret it exactly the way the director explains it, it's a darn impressive film that succeeds amazingly well at shocking and disturbing the viewer.

For a director's first feature-length movie - and one that that makes no secret of that director's cinematic influences - Calvaire achieves a sustained identity all its own, evincing a shrouded, unsettling cinematic atmosphere from the opening shot. It's most interesting to hear Du Welz talk about his cinematic vision and the film's intended transitions from naturalism to surrealism and back. I do have a problem with the way snow appears and disappears from the landscape (as well as the treatment of a couple of animal actors), but apart from that the cinematography is ruthlessly effective.

Calvaire asks "What's the worst that could happen?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Horror Film ! November 30, 2006
Fabrice Du Welz's "Calvaire:The Ordeal" is a truly unique,cold & kooky dark grey nightmare of a film. This one is loaded with so much foggy atmosphere that you can barely see the person sitting next you. This is definitely one of the very best horror films that I have ever seen. It's these little known masterful gems that make the endless,painful & often unfruitful journey well worth it for the tireless horror film collector searching for greatness among so much [...]. Our victim in this film lands himself in a warped dead end backwoods hell hole like no other & I stress the word "WARPED". Du Wels provides the viewer with some truly disturbing scenes & most of them have little or no blood & gore. There is one scene that will be forever stuck in my memory as it rears it's truly bazar & creepy head whenever I think of this film & it involves some of the scariest piano playing that I've ever heard in my life,you'll know what I'm talking about when you get to that part of the film. Speaking of music there is very little of it in this film & that is one of it's very special qualities that favors it realism & speaking of qualities,Fabrice Du Wels manages to take only the best qualities from the very best blueprint classics such as "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" & "Deliverance" mixes them with his own twisted ideas & cherry tops it with his exceptionally gifted talent for making movies & delivers to us horror fans a brilliant & truly atmospheric horror masterpiece.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CALVARY November 13, 2006
Seems like we've seen it all already - Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, Wrong Turn and Wolf Creek... So any new movie based on these peripetias has to offer something new not to look boring and secondary. Surely modern directors saw the same movies we all saw and they know as well of a horror tradition and of what they should do or shouldn't considering their projects. And here hides all the charm of Fabrice Du Welz's "The Ordeal" originally named "Calvaire". It seems that Du Welz consciously decided not to take into consideration previous horror-movies' experience, he took it as a tabula rasa to create something new as if there were nothing created before, pretending he's a kind of a pioneer. And surprisingly he succeeded.

"The Ordeal" turned out to be rather quiet and modest film and maybe that's where its fascination comes from. It appears you can make one truly disturbing picture without crushed skulls and sawed off limbs. On celluloid Du Welz created his little, personal hell, which sometimes may seem more infernal than those of Romero, Hooper and Argento combined.

There's no need to retell the story - it's the same old one: a man, whose car brakes, finds himself in a place no one would want to make into, and meets people no one would want to encounter either. The trick is there are no mutants here, no rivers of blood and no nervous chasings through the woods. Everyting is very calm and routine. And that makes your skin creep. We got used to mindblowing adventures of those who got into trouble including the above-mentioned chasings with all kinds of cold arms. Not this time. The place Du Welz created is totally real, I'm sure you all saw these places, these desolate villages where few people live.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
You are a traveling singer driving on a two-lane road alone somewhere in lonely countryside. Your car breaks down. You're lost in the woods and the night is closing in. This Belgian film asks you: "What is the worst that could happen?" You can find the answer in `Calvaire,' but its answer is not what you see in Hollywood horror films.

The worst happens to a young and handsome chansons singer Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas). After his car's breakdown, he walks to the nearest village, guided by a young man he encountered on the way. The boy says he is searching his dog, but he behaves a little strange. Is he afraid of something?

After arriving at the village, an old man named Bartel (Jackie Berroyer) kindly lets Marc stay at his house. Believing that he can continue his travel, Marc thanks him for his kind offer, and accepts it. But Bartel seems to have his own plan. In fact, the old man thinks that he knows about Marc, or someone named Gloria, and it turns out that Marc has to stay there much longer than he expected.

[BIZARRE] It is certain, as the story unfolds, that there is something wrong with the people there, I mean, all the people in this film except Marc. The film is filled with this creepy mood from the beginning, even before his getting lost in woods. In the first scene Marc's karaoke gig ends with two elderly females eagerly staring at him, and one of them gives him a collection of disturbing Polaroid photos. Marc may be called an objct of desire, but he is the last person to know that.

`Calvaire' has another title `The Ordeal' which many be a more appropriate one for Marc, who must endure so much. I should not reveal the film's story here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "Disturbingly Different"
The film tip-toes the line between being gory and suspenseful. The plot is simple: a traveling C-list singer is making his rounds from nursing home to nursing home performing for... Read more
Published 4 months ago by KFavors
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun Horror flick
Some people that seen this film mistake it for a French or Belgian. It' nether ,how about "Luxemburg"I saw in previous previews that some said that this film is too creepy, you... Read more
Published 14 months ago by jhadee
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, weird movie
It's hard to find good horror films these days, and I really enjoyed this one. It's got some sequences that are just weird and almost David Lynch-like and comical, but mostly just... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Patricia Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Awwwesome!
Masterpiece! This is not a movie for everyone. I'm pretty sure it's one of those movies that you will either love or hate. Read more
Published on November 23, 2011 by Arps
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Disturbing
If you like slasher films, you won't like this. It's much better than most horror films. Evocative. It's in the same category as Irreversible, I Stand Alone, Man Bites Dog.
Published on November 16, 2011 by V. S. Ragland
4.0 out of 5 stars Just one word....

Seriously. Gotta love the French and their little twists on things. One thing I've noticed: in a few French films (in the horror genre, of course) they sure... Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by J.Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars G-L-O-R-I-A!...
A singer's van breaks down on the way to his next big show. Of course, he's in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, a man happens by who is looking for his dog. Read more
Published on September 5, 2010 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
1.0 out of 5 stars Calvaire [The Ordeal]
Unfortunately, my first review is for a Belgian horror flick called Calvaire (or The Ordeal). I say 'unfortunately' because it was quite a letdown. Read more
Published on August 25, 2010 by Andrew Carleton
1.0 out of 5 stars Excruciating... ly dull
If Martyrs is an M-80 that goes off in your hand, Calvaire is a sparkler that won't even light. Nothing - NOTHING - happens for the first 50 minutes (and it's a bad sign when... Read more
Published on June 24, 2010 by DeafMix3
1.0 out of 5 stars Correct! Weird does not equal scary!!!
Those "crazy" French. This movie is weird. Not scary at all. Some guy kidnaps a musician and imagines he is his wife who died years before. Read more
Published on November 13, 2009 by Robert B. Martin
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How many horror films have you seen? This should obviously be considered horror, and it's certainly a very good movie. Perhaps not up to snuff with low grade American sensibilities (it's not fast paced with a bunch of jump-scare MTV edits), but it's far more disturbing than most. Highly... Read More
Jan 15, 2007 by charlieheston |  See all 3 posts
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