HOUSE OF VOICES
Directed & Written by Pascal Laugier
Produced by Christohpe Gans & Richard Grandpierre
Cinematography by Pablo Rosso
Music by Joseph Luca
Cast: Virginie Ledoyen, Lou Doillon, Catriona MacColl, Dorina Lazar, Jérôme Soufflet & Virgine Darmon
2004/110 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
2.35:1 anamorphic/English & French/France/NTSC Region1
Review from the Universal DVD
In the late 1950s, the lovely Virginie Ledoyen stars as Anna, a young cleaning woman who's sent to take care of the abandoned St Ange orphanage in the French Alps. There she meets Judith (Lou Doillon), the only orphan still living there and a cook named Helenka who's been working there for 23 years. At first things are normal but in this very SHINNING-like environment, Anna stars having visions as we discover her secret and what secret the orphanage holds.
The best way I would describe Pascal Laugier's movie would be, image if THE SHINNING met Jaume Balaguero's DARKNESS and a little dose of Lucio Fulci atmosphere at the end. Apart from the awful dubbing, more on that later, and the never ending end, there's about four of them, the movie might be a little slow for some. As for me, I enjoyed every minutes of it. Its also important to note that Catorina MacColl who was in many Lucio Fulci classics is in this one, a nice element for us die hard fans.
SAINT ANGE crawls its way into DVD thanks to Universal. Presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the image looks terrifice. The lush and creepy cinematography by Pablo Rosso gives the whole feel a very surreal atmosphere which reminded me of some Italian classics of the 1970s. There is simply no defect in the image department, a great job by Universal.
The fact that this movie was simultaneously filmed in both English and French surely hurts it. The voices over done in the studio are simply terrible. Universal only included the English track which is a shame really. I would have been curious to hear how the French audio track would have come out but no such luck. The English 5.1 Dolby Digital is loud and clear. It will make good uses of the directional capabilities of your home theater system. Still this is a rather quiet and more subtle movie. English, French and Spanish subtitles are available and easy to read.
While watching the 'Deleted Scenes' on the disc, I came upon an big surprise... these scenes are featuring the original French audio track which I'm sure would have make the film much more interesting and involving for me. Bad decision Universal. Back to the deleted scenes, why did they cut them I don't understand. Each one of them are vital to the story. Sure it would have slow the pace even more but so what?! This ain't a MTV type movie anyway. There's also an amazing and very interesting 54 minutes 'Making of' documentary in which we gets lots of behind-the-scenes, interviews and learn everything you need to know about the movie. It sure looks like they had fun making this one and lots of passion went into it.
The disc also features trailers for other Universal titles, MY SUMMER OF LOVE, CRY_WOLF and LAND OF THE DEAD but surprisingly not trailer for the feature film. We get some nicely designed animated menus with morphing and all. The movie is separated in 20 chapters, comes in a keep case with no booklet or inlay card. Overall a very good edition from Universal Home Entertainment.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©