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Resonnances - comic horror DVD / slasher flick DVD review
RESONNANCES Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Actors: Yann Sundberg, Vincent Lecompte, Romain Ogerau, Patrick Mons
Director: Philippe Robert Studio: Synapse Films
DVD release: 14 December 2010 Runtime: 83 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
DVD features: Aspect ratio 1.85:1, Audio tracks (French - Dolby Digital Surround 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Subtitles (English), Trailer

*Resonnances* from Synapse FilmsLook, you guys, quit giving rides to serial killers, okay? I know you think, what with the intertubal Facebooks and the Tweety birds surveilling from limb to limb and all that wooly blanket of webbery, that you're perfectly safe. All watched over by machines of loving grace, as it were. But what you didn't count on is what you need to count on.

In the case of the "micro-budget" (I ain't buying it) RESONNANCES, the thing you didn't count on was the alien craft crash landing in the vicinity some 400 years ago.

And this is rural France, don't forget, so things are... different. Vive la difference, sure--except things aren't. We're ricocheting between Hollywood horror and indie spoof here. This is familiar, fun turf - with subtitles.

RESONNANCES starts out as a buddy flick (thus the cozied up enns in the middle of resonances, in case you wondered). The buds (Yann Sundberg, Romain Ogerau and Vincent Lecompte) and their gals are on the road for a weekend of B and B (beer and beaver, or the French equivalent, no doubt including Cabernet and cunnilingus). Riding in cars with boys, then, is the character-building majority of the first act (it has its moments), at least until the hitchhiker appears.

Thanks to narrative front-loading, we know what the buds do not and are naturally quoting David Byrne as they pick up Sebastian (Patrick Mons), offering him a lift to the next village: "psycho killer, qu'est que c'est?"

Then the apparition appears.

She - the apparition, that is - is a ghostly pale thing familiar to you from tales of urban legend. Hers is the unresolved but not forgotten violent death, and she's gonna haunt the fuck out of this bend of highway until hell freezes over, Jesus returns, or aliens conquer the Earth.

Scared crapless and driver-distracted, over the cliff go the buddies, babes and all.

Here's where things go way over the top. The alien icky that has been plaguing the local populace since it first descended, alien-crash-wise, centuries ago, starts chasing the buds and babes. Guess why? Horror spoof: in this one, cell phones work--and summon the Creature. Run! Wait: hang up! Now: run! And don't bother setting on vibrate; you're in deep doo-doo.

Plus, the psycho killer, long-since revealed for his true colors, is stalking the lot. Can we talk pacing as we are catapulted beyond the pale of plausibility? Because that's where this film falls down on its way to a way-too-predictable denouement.

As Robert Saucedo points out in a canny review, RESONNANCES owes a lot to 1990's Tremors, which also features underground critters, previously unknown at this address, who duly menace all the fair boys and babes who come wandering round looking for fun in sun.

I got a big kick out of RESONNANCES, and I have no problem with the reviewers (e.g., the aforementioned Saucedo) predicting a long career ahead for director Philippe Robert (yo, mo' po', bro), and a real Hollywood remake of this particular entertainment. However, I am deeply skeptical about the marketing hype - in English, anyway - that this is a "micro-budget" production.

Robert's "diary" (in French, in PDF: http://www.origin-art.fr/productions/filmo/reso/dossierpresse.pdf), suggests that there was at least 18,000 Euros paid into the film - that's more than US$30,000, much more than I'd be willing to hype as "micro." But it's not nearly the budget of this film, which I'd guess topped $100k, even if Romanian micro-surfs did all the grunt work on the SFX.

Just scope the final credits as they roll by, page after page. Director Robert in his diary is astounded at the completion of the project, which involved 70 technicians and a multi-festival release in 3D (festival entry fees and 3D processing ain't cheap). Think you can do that on 18 thousand Euros? And, throughout, the film's special effects are decent-enough CGI that they run into some serious processing time (no wonder the editing took several months, according to the director's diary).

Some elbow grease went into this flick, in other words; why the lie? That could have been the difference (vive la...) that elbowed the film's way to the front of the distributor's line of attention, and thus any number of indie/low-B reviewers, comme moi, and if so, thanks. RESONNANCES is fun stuff, and good luck to Robert in the future. As if we'll ever change, slam the English-language marketing yahoos a star for trying to shellack us with that micro-budget crap.
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reviewed by Brian Charles Clark
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