Saturday, September 15, 2007

THE SERPENT/LE SERPENT - mediocre French thriller

Yvan Attal (RUSH HOUR 3) plays a fashion photographer called Vincent. He's in the midst of a messy custody battle with his super-rich wife Hélène. A lingerie model accuses him of rape and then dies in his studio. At the same time, an old school-friend, Plender (Clovis Cornillac) turns up and helps Vincent hide the body. It soon transpires that Plender is a mentally unstable, professional black-mailer who holds Vincent responsible for the death of his mother. So begins his perseuction of Vincent.

Why do I call this movie mediocre? Well, it's not a disaster. It looks suitably grim, moves at a swift pace and is sufficiently interesting that you want to see how it all turns out. My problem with it is that it does nothing new with the genre. Moreover it lacks the threatening paranoia and isolation of, say, TELL NO-ONE. (Not that I especially liked that movie either.) Perhaps this is because Vincent is never really alone in his persecution. His lawyer and his wife always believe him and help him prove his innocence. Because of this, I never truly believed he was in danger.

LE SERPENT/THE SERPENT was released in France, Belgium, Greece, Sweden and Finland earlier this year. It is currently on release in the UK.


  1. His wife always believed him? She didn't believe a word he said and almost seduces the killer.

  2. Honestly it's so long ago I watched this film I can't recall if it bears that interpretation. However, I am gonna watch it again in a little Yvan Attal recap before seeing his new flick RAPT so I will report back.

  3. I think the line in your review has been misinterpreted. I think you meant "his lawyer and his lawyer's wife" (i.e. not Vincent's wife). Hope that makes sense.