Left Bank (2008)

Starring: Eline Kuppens, Matthias Schoenaerts, Sien Eggers, Marilou Mermans

Plot: Marie, an aspiring track star on her way to the European Championships, suffers a devastating setback when she is diagnosed with an immune infection and forced to rest. To pass the time, Marie moves in with Bobby, her charismatic new boyfriend who lives in a deluxe apartment in Antwerp’s stylish Left Bank. There is becomes part of a disturbing mystery and the mystery starts to unravel.

My Review and Thoughts:

Leftbank (Linkeroever) is a Belgian horror thriller which was directed by Pieter Van Hees, and boy did he create something very different and something that has a voice of its own.

Elaine gives a remarkable and emotional and reality based and believable performance as Marie. Matthias who plays Bobby is also an extraordinary actor. The chemistry between the two is flawless.

What stands out about this film is the character development of Marie and Bobby. You get to know them first. They grow on you. You watch them succeed in a relationship. It's a slowburn start leading up to the mystery. It's wonderful that you get to see the relationship develop. 

That's the problem with most movies this day and age is there's no character development. The characters are lifeless, there's nothing about them and so I really enjoy when a movie comes along that showcases the character development. You get to relate to the characters, feel emotional for them when something does happen.

This movie captivated my attention, held it from start to finish. Thick mystery and a suspense that plays deep tricks on the viewer.

Director Pieter Van Hees is a visionary. He tells the story with characters and yet also with images, music, scenery and most of all mystery. The viewer unfolds each chapter of the movie as it goes along and at times you scratch your head and wonder what it is, what was that meant to be?

As Maria settles into her boyfriends apartment, she comes to realize that the woman that use to live there has disappeared without a trace. No one knows where she is and what has happened to her. Soon Marie discovers the past history of the building and she begins her own investigation or history lesson, but what she finds out and discovers might've been better left undiscovered.

Truly an original film, thought-provoking nightmare, a dreamlike state and artistic film with visionary talent weaving together that unknown Twilight zone feel. This is kind of like a mixed bag of folklore, mythology, but most of all the supernatural mixed with the concept of Rosemary's Baby.

I was thoroughly entertained by this because I like sophisticated horror films. I like horror films that have an underlining story to them. Films that make you think, make you question what you're seeing and still even after it's over you wonder what the hell happened. I love films that make me think, that make me, go what was that? What did I just see? Did I just see that?

This is a film that will divide the audience. Some will get it and some won't. Some will enjoy it and some won't. This is for the fans of horror that like a deeper story. This is a film for viewers that like an artistic, twisty, imagery laced film. A film that plays with the viewers mind.

This is a film that I possibly see in the future having a Criterion Collection release or at least it should. It's a film that displays the artistic value of capturing the vivid imagery of such directors as Ingmar Bergman & Andrei Tarkovsky and even the master Pier Paolo Pasolini and modern film god Lars von Trier.

I really enjoyed this film and I highly recommend it.