Calvaire (The Ordeal)
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A traveling entertainer falls prey to a disturbed recluse in director Fabrice Du Welz's twisted, slow-burn riff on Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Having finished his latest performance at a remote retirement home, wandering singer Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas) packs his gear into his van and sets out towards his next gig. Unfortunately for Marc, the fog-shrouded roads of rural France are more treacherous than he ever anticipated. When his van breaks down in the middle of the night and a skittish local promises to lead him to a nearby inn owned by the eccentric recluse Paul… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Du Welz has definite visual-dramatic talent. (Calvaire was a Cannes festival pick.) But, like Norman Bates' car, he need to get pulled out of the swamp."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Director-co-writer Fabrice du Welz has taken a clichťd premise and infused it with a stylish perversity that should have horror fans squealing with delight."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"a surrealist fairy tale bringing gothic glee to its meditations on performance and passion."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"if you've got a black sense of humor you might just find yourself laughing down the vomit."
‑ Keith Breese,
"Completely gratuitous. Don't bother."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"What sells this movie is the realistic attention to detail and the bravura direction of Fabrice Du Welz, who draws a gut-wrenching performance from Lucas."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"Director Fabrice Du Welz doesn't reinvent the backwoods-freakshow formula, but there is something undeniably entertaining about violent psychos who are also committed art lovers."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"A genuine creepy horror movie, employing some good ol' camp themes to great effect."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"Not so much scary as just plain brutal."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Naming one character after cult director Paul Bartel is obvious enough, but why saddle the other with the moniker of a notorious '70s porn star?"
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"By the time it reaches its final act, the film rivals its American counterparts in intensity if not quite in explicit violence."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Directed by the newcomer Fabrice du Welz, the Belgian horror film Calvaire is pompous, but not without talent or shivers."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"A glossy rehash that's far less interesting and frightening than the classics upon which it's unimaginatively modeled."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"So dead-set on being disturbing that it ends up tripping over its own hobbled feet and evoking fewer gasps than curdled little giggles."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"Often more haunting and disturbing for what you don't see than for what you do."
‑ Edward Douglas,
More reviews for Calvaire (The Ordeal) on Rotten Tomatoes