The Malediction review – Arthur’s curse: in the film just released by Midnight Classic, Luc Besson revisits his saga of Arthur and the world of the Minimoys in a horror key.
Sometimes being a die-hard fan of a saga can be expensive, very expensive. That’s what he tells us Malediction – The Curse of Arthurfilm written and produced by Luc Besson, just released in home video for the Midnight Factory series by Plaion Pictures. In essence, the film directed by Barthélémy Grossmann is a sort of horror reinterpretation of the animation product Arthur and the Minimoysindeed of the trilogy of children’s films that had been packaged by Besson, taken among other things from the novels of the same author.
In this case, however, animation and playfulness are set aside and horror, violence and blood come. Even if, as we will see in this review, in reality these elements will sincerely arrive a little late for the economy of the film, when perhaps the expectation and attention will have dissolved a little, overwhelmed by the rhythms and atmospheres of that which until then appears as a harmless teen comedy.
That fatal passion for the Minimoys saga
In Malediction – Arthur’s curse, fatal is an eighteenth birthday party. Alex (Matheu Berger), a boy who has always been a great fan of the well-known fantasy cine-literary saga, arrives at the age of majority Arthur and the Minimoys. His friends (including the beautiful Samantha played by Thalia Besson, Luc’s daughter) therefore decide for a very special gift: to take him to the abandoned house, lost in the French countryside, where the famous film based on the novels was shot. Once on the spot, however, the group of boys will find themselves living a real nightmare, filled with blood, brutality and violence. The trip will turn into a tough fight for survival and few will be able to escape from a real slaughter.
Luc Besson’s obsession is a time-lapse horror
First four novels, then three films: Luc Besson must really have an obsession with the Lilliputian world he created, because now he’s back again and this time with a surprising and curious choice: to revisit his own saga in a horror key. A tantalizing and a little crazy project, with obligatory and understandable self-quotation, but in which we would have expected, however, a greater self-confidence. In the end, in reality, one remains a little perplexed, first of all by the slowness with which the film gets into gear, then by some decidedly questionable choices.
The first part in which the horror is completely absent, is too long, indeed to tell the truth it looks like a bizarre comedy starring a group of not particularly nice and above all not very bright kids. The change of course towards the blood is sudden and violentwhich in itself could be a nice surprise, but which in this context and due to the premises created up to that moment, sounds a bit out of tune and ends up creating an unconvincing ambiguity.
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Between irritating behaviors and an ending anchored in reality
To work little, as often happens in some horror unsuccessful, is the attitude of the boys. It’s not about their perceptible dislike, which can also be there, but above all about frankly stupid and irritating behaviors that create moments of involuntary humor. The scene of the two girls who start listening to music laughing, while all hell happens around, is perhaps the pinnacle in this respect. In any case, there is something to save: some sequences of the second part have a certain effectiveness, but also the final revelation of the mystery on the origin of all these cruelties has its own suggestion. Because knowing that maybe it’s not the little creatures of the fairy tale that have turned into perverse killers and that there is nothing supernatural, but that the solution is much more anchored in reality, is perhaps a bizarre solution, but in its own way even more unsettling. Even if in the end a small doubt remains.
Blu-ray: a booklet, excellent video and really super audio
As mentioned, Malediction – Arthur’s curse is available in home video thanks to the Midnight Factory blu-ray, presented in the usual elegant packaging slipcase with the usual in-depth booklet inside. The video is excellent, it only suffers from a little mellowness in some dimly lit interiors, for the rest it offers excellent detail, and the views of the vegetation are also spectacular, both in terms of compactness and chromatic brilliance. The audio in DTS HD 5.1 is really super, both for the Italian and the original. In fact, the track is very lively and has a very wide spatiality, both in the description of all the ambient noises and in the rendering of the music, reproduced with a non-trivial grit. Even the most heinous moments offer excellent involvement, thanks to the intervention of all the speakers and good bass support. In the extras only the trailer, but let’s not forget the aforementioned booklet.
At the conclusion of the review of Malediction – Arthur’s curse and summing up Luc Besson’s obsession with his Minimoys, we reiterate that this foray into horror saga, albeit with some good ideas, is not very convincing, both for the delay with where history and blood take hold, and for a screenplay that outlines a series of really embarrassing behaviors of the boys.
Because we like it
- The idea of revisiting the animation saga in a horror key offers good ideas.
- Some scenes are undoubtedly effective.
- The ending anchored in reality arouses even more concern.
- For too long, horror has disappeared.
- The air of outlandish teenage comedy hangs over the film for a long time.
- Some kid behaviors are too dumb to have any credibility.