Les affamés [Ravenous] (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Les affamés</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">Ravenous</strong>] (2017)

(In French, On Cable TV, December 2018) Now here’s a fun curiosity— Les affamés is a French-Canadian zombie film, featuring some well-known local actors fighting the undead menace in rural Québec. It speaks to the democratization of genre elements that even that kind of project can be viable away from Hollywood. (Or maybe not that all surprising, given that the only thing you really need for a zombie movie is a farmhouse and red syrup.) Still, it is quite a thing to see grande-dame of Québec actresses Micheline Lanctôt cock a shotgun before going undead-hunting. Writer/director Robin Aubert makes the most out of the limited budget given to French-Canadian productions, setting his stories in forests, farm fields and isolated houses. Most of the elements of zombie movies are used in a straightforward fashion, although Aubert can’t resist adding an eerie element of zombie intelligence and proto-civilization by having them create towers out of ordinary objects. But never mind the quirks—the film delivers on the usual zombie-chomping action, what with lead actor Marc-André Grondin trying to hold everything together even in the face of an ongoing apocalypse. The result feels a bit odd by zombie-movie standards: a bit too pretentious at times (as in “yeah, we’re trying to do something more ambitious than the usual zombie movie”) even though its chief appeal—at least for me, as a French-Canadian viewer—is in setting familiar zombie tropes in very familiar settings with characters speaking a familiar patois. Les affamés offers two lasting visuals, but if I had to choose, I’d rather sacrifice the tower of chairs so that I could have more veteran Québec actors shooting zombies in the face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *