La Peau Blanche [White Skin aka Cannibal] (2004)

(In French, In theaters, March 2004) I’m not a very objective critic when it comes to this film adaptation: I’ve owned the original book ever since it came out, the writer is a good friend of mine, I worked on the movie’s preview web site (some of my copy even made it on the final web site) and I was even present at the cast and crew premiere. So adjust accordingly when I say that it’s a pretty good film. Fans of quiet horror/suspense films like The Others and The Sixth Sense are best-prepared to appreciate the way this teen romance gradually evolves into something far more sinister. The acting is excellent (with mad props to leads Marc Paquet, Frédéric Pierre and Marianne Farley), in no small part due to the very natural dialogue and crisp direction. There’s also plenty of good things to say about the film’s cinematography and polish, especially given how the crew had to work with a pitiful budget (under a million Canadian dollars) and tight shooting conditions. Hooray for digital cinema! First-time feature director Daniel Roby has a bright future in front of him: I just hope that the right people see this film and I can’t wait to see his next effort. Some viewers may not like the way the film keeps switching genres, or how the third act is a full-bore descent in darkness. Tough for them; as for me, I’m just pleased to have been associated, even so tangentially, with such a slick film.

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