Fabrice du Welz, Belgium/France, 2014, DCP, 2.35, colour, 93′, in French with English and Slovene subtitles
FESTIVALS: Austin 2014 (Best Director, Best Feature, Best Actor – Laurent Lucas, Best Actress – Lola Dueñas), Chicago 2014, Toronto 2014, Sitges 2014, Cannes – Quinzaine des réalisateurs 2014, European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation award Méliès D’Or for Best Feature Film 2014.
Michel (Laurent Lucas) is an inveterate womanizer and professional hustler. When he meets Gloria (Lola Dueñas), she falls in love with him with a devout and deadly passion. Michel becomes her reason to live, their relation knows no boundaries. When she discovers Michel is a gigolo, swindling lonely widows out of their money, she becomes an accomplice in their morbid pact rather than risk losing the man of her dreams. Together they embark on a wild, deathly odyssey. Their unfettered passions will drive them to the brink of insanity…
A masterly mixture of psychological drama, suspense and very earthly horror, the visually stunning (shot in glorious 16mm) Alleluia delivers a contemporary adaptation of the real-life story of the ‘Lonely Hearts Killers’ Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, which shook America in the late 1940s and inspired Leonard Kastle’s cult classic The Honeymoon Killers (1969). The latest film by Fabrice du Welz (Calvaire, Vinyan), the Belgian exponent of the New French Extremity and a master of contemporary horror cinema, is the winner of European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation’s Méliès D’Or for Best Feature Film of 2014.
“In finding an appropriately hellish look for the film, Du Welz has enlisted the talents of emerging Belgian d.p. Manuel Dacosse, whose neo-giallo work on Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears stunningly resurrected a nearly lost strain of horror cinema. Alleluia may be a remake, but its somber look couldn’t be more original – all the better for the film to spring its nasty surprises on auds, none more unexpected than the way certain shots remain seared into one’s subconscious in the days and weeks that follow.”
– Peter Debruge, Variety
“Two rock-solid performances, gritty cinematography and an impressive mise-en-scene make for a great movie. /…/ A crazy crook meets his murderous match in Alleluia, the fourth and best feature to date from Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz. Like in his first two features, The Ordeal (Calvaire) and Vinyan, this French-language variation on the story of The Honeymoon Killers displays a flair for alloying genre tropes with flashes of psychological drama, though his latest work displays a newfound directorial confidence that makes it possible for the filmmaker to not only smoothly oscillate between gritty drama and death-filled horror but to go out on a limb several times and do things such as throw in a Sweeney Todd-like song that ends with one of the protagonists nonchalantly sawing off the foot of a person they just killed.”
– Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
“Not only one of the best film of 2014 but also a bona fide all-time gem, Alleluia is a shocking, bold film from one of today’s most exciting filmmakers. A must-see.”
– Evrim Ersoy, Elelectric Sheep Magazine