I’m a little late to the party on this one, and I suspect most of you will be as well. This is another film that I have seen circulating for quite some time. I knew it was a French language film (coming out of Switzerland), and thats generally enough for me to start paying attention. However, I couldn’t get a decent feel for the film based on the trailer alone. So it’s Sunday and I have little else going on – Why not take a chance on Chimeres? Boy, am I glad I did.
At its highest points, Chimeres is presented to us in all the style and class that we expect when watching a horror film from that part of the world. The problem (and i’m using the word loosely here) is that this quality isn’t upheld at all times. Darker scenes look absolutely masterful, while some of the day scenes begin to let the budget of the film show. That’s not to call it uneven, because Chimeres is consistently good. By the end – i’d go so far as to call it great.
The story follows a couple that are vacationing in Romania. After a long night of drinking the local hooch, our main character is struck by a vehicle and must receive a blood transfusion. Upon returning home, it becomes known that Romanian hospitals had somewhat of a scandle recently in dealing with “contaminated blood”. Im sure its no coincidence that our front man is now feeling the urge to kill those around him and consume their blood. It’s a simple concept. One thats been done in some variant or another many times, but Chimeres gets it right. There isn’t much dialogue really. Most communication is done through body language – which is a testament to the acting.
This is not a thrill fest. While the effects are well done, they are also minimal. The same can be said for the violence in the film as a whole. We see some disturbing visions from time to time, but things don’t really pick up until the second half of the film. That may seem like a while, but its not. The runtime comes in around an 1hr and 18 minutes, and just because there isn’t much violence happening in the beginning – doesn’t mean it isn’t good cinema.
The final scene seems somewhat out of place, but we understand why it’s happening in context. By the time the final credits rolled, I was impressed. Very impressed.
Horror is a very subjective term these days. While Chimères isn’t exactly “scary”, it is an extremely well made film on a very low budget. Great acting, an unexpected twist to the story, as well as a beautiful finale really put this one over the top for me. Don’t go in expecting scares – go in expecting an emotional tale of a mans transformation.