Gilles Marchand finally returns behind the camera with IN THE FOREST, his third feature film, a pure film of atmosphere anxiety-inducing and terrifying.
If there’s a term to describe a Gilles Dealer, it is surely the strangeness. A style feeling both in its scenarios – particularly with Dominik Moll (Harry, a friend who wants you well, Lemming, news from the planet Mars), co-writer here – as in his achievements. After Who killed Bambi ? (2003) and Another world (2010), the filmmaker may be with IN THE FOREST of his film the most accomplished at this level, but also the most simple. Because if you think about it, something seems obvious after the vision of this third feature. A history of the family, or rather the relationship between a father and his (its) son, who turns to a nightmare. Tom and his big brother Benjamin, who should return to their father in Sweden for the holidays. But their reunion doesn’t go so well. The father decides to take the two boys in the North of the country, in the middle of a huge forest, to withdraw for a few days. Tom, somewhat reassured by the attitude strange to his father, begins to have visions of a man with a deformed face.
What could be more frightening than to be immersed in the skin of a child left to himself, unable to be able to rely on a father figure, which seems to be the most dangerous ? This father, perfectly played by Jérémie elka ∩ m, against the employment, causes a strong concern. The actor (also the film’s producer), which usually has roles rather friendly, sometimes the moon (nonsense), sometimes intense (Marguerite and Julien), has yet passed the tests. Wise choice, as much as Gilles Marchand thought for a long time to offer him a role as dark, ambivalent, almost dizzying. Calm but cold, it is expressed here on a monotone and was in no way reassuring or warm to Tom. The young Timothy Vom Dorp (which was already a small effect in This sense of the summer of Mikhaël Hers) that interprets it, is the other brainchild of Gilles Marchand. With his eyes dark and his little master, the young boy is fascinating and endearing. Remaining at his side, at the height of a child, Gilles Marchand provokes in us a form of terror in a child-like, a feeling of helplessness in the face of a father, which, failing to be violent, disturbs by its nature unhealthy. Unhealthy in the sense of irresponsible, capable of endangering the lives of its children by dragging the middle of nowhere and putting in a minimum of comfort. A man who, moreover, had strange powers, and encouraged her son to develop his own.
“In the Forest, offers the spectator an experience of the most distressing” Click To Tweet
Therefore, it is not so much the resolution of the mystery around the father, and of the visions of the “devil” of Tom that are of interest to the filmmaker, nor too think. But more offer a pure film of atmosphere and to explore hunches and sensations, especially those felt in the face of the inexplicable, the paranormal. The about Gilles Marchand did not make IN THE FOREST, a genre film that will scare you, but to connect to childhood, the unconscious more than the conscious. The point of departure for the filmmaker, who also was a souvenir from insomnia from his own childhood. The forest, and all that she represents a mysterious, obviously plays an important role in the film – a bit like the series The Ghosts. The characters enter it, let themselves be locked in. The noise concern. The music, provoking desire, offer several levels of reading of the film, and insists on the agreements and discordant, like those experienced by the characters themselves. IN THE FOREST remains so intelligently at the border of the fantastic, leaving doubt on the visions of Tom, imaginary or not. We will ask ourselves many questions during the movie, but it should not expect direct answers. Because IN THE FOREST appreciates above all as an experience of the most distressing, who takes to the throat the whole time.
Stone Siclier and Sylvie-Noelle
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• Realization : Gilles Marchand
• Screenplay : Gilles Marchand, Dominik Moll
• Main actors : Jérémie elka ∩ m, Timothy Vom Dorp, Théo Van de Voorde
• Release Date : February 15, 2017
• Duration : 1h43min
• Interview with Gilles Marchand and Jérémie elka ∩ m