This Isn’t the Arthur You Knew
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 28m
Director(s): Barthélémy Grossmann
Writer(s): Luc Besson
Cast: Mathieu Berger, Thalia Besson-Sylla, Lola Andreoni, Mikaël Halimi, Yann Mendy, Jade Pedri, Vadim Agid, Marceau Ebersolt, Ludovic Berthillot
Language: French w/English dub or English subtitles
Where To Watch: Available On VOD + Digital Platforms February 3, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: ARTHUR MALEDICTION, the latest addition to the ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES franchise (ish), ventures into uncharted territory, pushing the limits of what is considered frightening. With its low-budget, minimalist approach, director Barthélémy Grossmann creates a fear-inducing experience that is not for the faint of heart.
The film follows the journey of a protagonist, a lifelong fan of the franchise, who embarks on a dangerous quest to the abandoned country house (think TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE house because dang) central to the original tale. Accompanied by friends and a budding romantic interest, the protagonist uncovers the dark secrets and hidden terrors that have been hidden within the realm of the film.
The film opens with a nostalgic trip down memory lane, revisiting the protagonist's childhood and the events leading up to their 18th birthday celebration. The protagonist's birthday is the catalyst for the journey as they, along with their friends, embark on the ominous road trip to the storied house. Hostile locals plague the journey (think THE HILLS HAVE EYES,) and the group soon realizes that the dwelling holds secrets beyond their wildest dreams.
Luc Besson (screenwriter) has a bevy of accusations against him that don’t look promising (although he has denied them.) Besson has been tasked with scripting this horror spin-off; his fingerprints are all over it. While not a faithful representation of the original series he created, ARTHUR MALEDICTION is a unique genre exercise. This film transforms the franchise's concept into something new with a lot of potential while trying to emphasize the world's darker and more sinister elements.
In terms of budget and set design, the minimalist approach to the film allows for a greater focus on the characters and their interactions with the world around them. The characters are simple, but their actions and motivations are anything but.
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[photo courtesy of CAPELIGHT PICTURES]