Cinema/TV, Film Notes

Fantasia Film Festival review – Le Serpent aux Mille Coupures (Thousand Cuts)

My notes on the French thriller, which screened at Fantasia.

An unnamed assassin (Tomer Sisley, from the Largo Winch films) barges into an isolated farm and ties up Omar (Cedric Ido) and Stephanie (Erika Sainte), keeping them in line with an implied threat to their young daughter Zoe (Victoire De Block).  However, the situation isn’t quite as clearcut as it seems – the victims of the motorcycle-riding killer are all high up in a far right/organised crime cartel from Colombia and Omar (a Senegalese married to a French woman) has been the target of a sustained campaign of racist abuse and vandalism perpetrated by his nasty neighbours.  While the local cops are out of their depth with the high-profile investigation, cartel killer Tod (Terence Yin) comes to the region to wreak revenge for the killings, with affable local crook Neri (Stephane Debac) as native guide.  The upshot is that all factions converge on the farm with guns and knives, and it turns out that the supposed home invader is best placed to protect the innocents from a range of villains.


Scripted by novelist DOA (Herve Albertazzi) from his own book., this finds Eric Velette (Malefique) back in France after an American sojourn that yielded the blah One Missed Call remake and the frankly admirable squid-disguised-as-a-car monster movie Hybrid and strangely seesawing between suspense at the farmhouse – though Sisley is pegged as a softie a little too early – and traipsing around with several sets of supporting actors.  Yin and Debac make the most mileage as another super-efficient killer (the hero’s dark doppelganger) and his more down-to-earth, slightly appalled contact man – Tod is the sort of psycho who coldly skins a woman to extract information and shoots his own allies in the head if they tick him off, and the film works up to a confrontation between the professionals while amateurs (like the nasty but inept racists) flounder about getting shot or stabbed.  It could be tighter, but it’s still a decent thriller.


Here’s a trailerHere’s a trailer.



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