Alléluia (2014) Poster

(2014)

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8/10
Contemporary European Cinema at its Best
sugarfreepeppermint29 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Based on the same true terrifying history that was the blueprint for Deep Crimson (1996). It shares with that film, the same naturalness in which the warped way of thinking of the murder spree couple is relayed. However this 2014 version is set in Belgium, and there is a lot of deviant sex and gore-ish bloodshed on display. Despite being rather squeamish myself, the magnificent acting and the story itself held me captivated from beginning to end. The director treats us to various cinematographic effects (sometimes music video like) to create a certain mood; in particular to embellish the perverse.

Despite, the gruesome content of the film, there were moments where I was in stitches with laughter, because the main actress, Lola Duenas, was so convincing in her role, that when she was howling with laughter, so was I. The same goes for male main actor, Laurent Lucas. Both manage to convey excellently the pitch black humour present in the script.

The song featured half way throughout the film, out of left-field momentarily converting the film into a musical, also adds to the macabre aura of the main character, and is a -break the fourth wall- moment, intensifying the creepiness you are then irrevocably immersed in. This song is fully fleshed out into an electro track to great effect for the final of the film. So it's not just randomly inserted in there.

The Belgian director / writer of this film has certainly proved that he is a master of his craft (and in my opinion far outshines his French contemporaries).
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8/10
Down and dirty
kosmasp22 October 2014
Not really lost, but sort of found. That is what you may think of the two main characters. And while the dynamic seems to swing one way at first, it becomes clear that there is something deeper and more Animalistic going on too. Something that is impossible to stop. Americans call something "a glutton for punishment". You could say that for one of the main characters, though he's not always on the receiving end of that punishment. Also how can you stop the unstoppable? It seems to be impossible.

Whatever the case, our "heroes" are far out, to use another phrase. You might not be able to connect (actually if you do connect 100% you might wanna check yourself), but it might also be impossible to let go. To not watch this to the end. Unless you have a problem with violence and nudity in movies that is of course. Because there is plenty of that going (literally) around here. There is a message hidden in between all that mayhem though
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9/10
Extremely underrated horror
asda-man15 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Even though a little middle-aged Belgian man called Fabrice Du Welz has only made three feature films in his career, he still happens to be one of my favourite directors. My love affair started when I sat and watched a film called Calvaire which left me dumbstruck and disturbed. How it still hasn't become an iconic horror classic is still beyond me. I love every single thing about it so you can imagine my excitement when Fabrice announced a thematic sequel to Calvaire starring Laurent Lucas and featuring Fabrice's favourite theme of 'mad love'. I was blown away by the intense trailer but unfortunately the film wasn't getting much buzz. Even now, after it has been released for yonks, no one seems to be talking about it or seeing it. There's barely five reviews on IMDb and the message board is dead in the water, but it's everyone else's loss! Alleluia is an electrifying slice of raw and intense romantic horror. Well, I say romantic, it's Fabrice's idea of romantic which tends to involve obsessive psychopaths. His debut short film, A Wonderful Love featured a woman falling in love with the corpse of a stripper and Calvaire saw an inn keeper convincing himself that a male guest was his long-lost wife. Alleluia tells the tale of an insane woman becoming besotted with an insane man and going on a killing spree. It's frightening to think that Alleluia is actually based on a real-life case in America where a couple ended up murdering 17 women in America during the 1940's. Fabrice of course puts his unique spin on things. It opens with a disturbing shot of our hero, Gloria sponging the body of a corpse in the morgue she works at. She then stops and looks directly at us sitting in our little living room arm chairs with her wide eyes penetrating our souls until 'Alleluia' flashes up on the screen. Right away you know that you're in for the Fabrice Du Welz experience. Alleluia has that same grainy, dirty look as Fabrice's other films. It feels incredibly raw and scarily real. There's also a strong claustrophobic atmosphere throughout thanks to the intrusive camera-work which is almost always in front of the actors' faces or backs. In fact, it's pretty jarring whenever we're given a long-shot, it's almost as though the film is allowing you to breathe. All of the lighting feels very natural too with dark scenes being almost completely black and grainy so that it's impossible to tell what's going on. All of this contributes to an overall atmospheric and intense experience throughout. What surprised me was the stupendous quality of acting from our main stars. Laurent Lucas is usually cast as the charming goody in the films he's in but has lately been venturing into darker territory. Those who saw the recent French series, Witnesses where Laurent played an everyday family man who liked to put white make-up on his face and kill young women at night won't be surprised to find out that he's similarly chilling in the role of Michel. We first see him performing some sort of voodoo on a photo of Gloria before he meets her for the first time and he only gets creepier from there. Laurent puts on a strange raspy voice and plays the part of the serial seducer extremely convincingly and never without a psychotic glint in his eyes. It's Lola as Gloria who steals the show though. Lola too usually plays the part of the kindly woman, mostly in Pedro Almodovar's terrific dramas. Here she's in total psycho mode as the dangerously obsessed lover who will do absolutely anything and everything for Michel. In fact, Gloria makes Michel look positively normal in comparison and Lola acts the hell out of it without it ever feeling too over-the-top. In a fair world, the Academy would've recognised Alleluia and popped Lola up for an Oscar nom. I'm not even kidding, she really is that good! Alleluia is split into four acts, all named after the women Michel seduces. Their master plan is for Gloria to pose as Michel's brother whilst Michel seduces the women and steals of their money. However, there's that old green-eyed monster in the way called Jealousy. Gloria does not like seeing Michel being affectionate with the old women he's marrying and so intense violence and chaos ensues for the majority of Alleluia's tight 90 minute runtime. To say any more about the plot would be to spoil the fun of it all. I can tell you, though that there was not one moment where I was bored. Alleluia always kept me gripped by the throat and didn't let go. Whilst the film is less surreal than Fabrice's previous efforts, it's still absolutely insane and full of WTF moments. For me Calvaire feels like a string of iconic moments and Alleluia has a few of them too. My favourites include a bizarre Magnolia-styled musical interlude (with added corpses), a creepy Humphrey Bogart-infused trip to the cinema and a disorientating segment which sees the couple dancing around naked in flames with grinding electronic music. The film has more than its fair share of sensory overload and it all makes for an unpredictable and absorbing experience. It also has lots of brilliant uses of black humour. The best example probably comes from when Michel is trying to fleece a religious woman by telling her blatant lies whilst Gloria hysterically laughs, covering it up as hysterical cries. The strongest segment is arguably the final act which results in a terrifyingly intense finale which leaves you begging for more. Alleluia really is a blistering thriller full of shocking violence, stupendous acting and intense directing. Chances are that you've never heard of it so it's your duty to seek this out and give it the attention it deserves. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed.
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10/10
Calvaire sequel?
metadrone0910 July 2015
Watched the film twice so far. Fabrice Du Welz is one of my all time favourite directors. I discovered him from Calvaire that became one of my all time favourite films. Director investigates love and unusual relationships of mostly deluded people. Imo love+religion+terror is the ID card of Du Welz.

After Vinyan I was looking forward to see something morbid, atmospheric and insane and absolutely enjoyed this film! Watching Alleluia I found this to be somehow related to Calvaire that was released 11 years ago. The same actor, the same female name Gloria (as Bartel's wife), as well as religious background. Apart from the fact that its based on the real events, I find there's a strong relation to Calvaire. As if director was making part II. Imagine years of recovery that Mark had after escaping the farm. He somehow had to earn for a living, hence started dating for cash. And his headaches from the past trauma..Gloria sings and Bartel's wife Gloria also used to sing. Just change the name Michel to Mark Stevens and there you go.

Anyone else find it being rather sequel to Bartel and Mark Stevens love story? P.S. if you haven't seen Calvaire first, please ignore my message.
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7/10
Re-tell us the story of a famous couple of murderers who made victims of lonely and wealthy widows in the USA In the early 1950s
jorge_luis-vazquez16 November 2014
Is this an Original story? I don't think so Because is very similar to the Mexican Movie "PROFUNDO CARMESI"(1996), at the same time this film re-tells the story of "THE LONELY HEARTS KILLERS" (1969), a famous couple of murderers who made victims of lonely and wealthy widows in the USA.

Gloria (Lola Dueñas) is a rotund and passionate nurse who knows handsome gigolo Michel (Laurent Lucas) and falls for him immediately. She abandons her children and follows the man in spite of his way of living. Together they will scheme to swindle and murder women who look for love and companions.
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2/10
Grim and not particularly well made
Leofwine_draca20 January 2016
I'm not really a fan of modern-day serial killer films, unless they happen to be made in the East (a region that continues to put out excellent examples of the genre, including THE CHASER and KILLERS). I love the old classics such as 10 RILLINGTON PLACE, but too often these modern versions merely serve as an excuse for torture porn (as in the execrable Spanish H6: DIARY OF A SERIAL KILLER) or are far too arty for their own good.

ALLELUIA falls into the latter category, and only now do I realise it was directed by the same guy who made the equally lacklustre CALVAIRE. The story is about a couple of weird characters who go on a killing spree and cut up various middle aged women, but there's hardly any more plot to it than that. Instead, director Fabrice Du Welz is content to focus on one bad taste scene after another, whether it be the violence inherent in the premise or unpleasant scenes of explicit sex between middle aged characters. I thought I was watching STRANGER BY THE LAKE again at some points!

Despite the presence of some familiar actors in the case, including THE RETURNED's Laurent Lucas, this isn't really an actor's film as the director is too involved with trying to make it look stylish and arty. Instead, it looks cheap and grubby, and the subject matter is so off-putting that I could barely watch it. In fact, I hated ALLELUIA from beginning to end and found no redeeming values in it whatsoever.
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6/10
Hardcore mental twisting serial killer
joebloggscity13 February 2016
This is quite a raw film. I'm going to say little so to avoid the main shocks. It kind of twists the genre a little as we see one woman fall in love obsessively with an amoral man out to cheat woman out of money. He has a voracious sexual appetite, and this is a major arc in this film, but how does he and his new lover balance it all out.

It's dark, it's highly violent and very cynical. It's as much horror as it is a thriller. You won't be leaving this film with a spring in your step.

The acting is fabulous by our main leads (actually by everyone in it), and they really unsettle you. The camera work is claustrophobic and dark, avoiding anything flashy. It adds to the suffering nature of the film.

This isn't for everyone, you will need a strong stomach for this one. If you are interested in dark extreme cinema, then this could be for your. For the rest, I'd say you better check out what exactly it is before you go in, as I wouldn't be surprised if you walk out during the movie.
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5/10
Killer Couple
billcr127 March 2018
This is yet another remake of the Honeymoon Killers. It is very loosely based on the infamous Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez lonely hearts murderers. The real life killers would answer ads and Ray would seduce widows with Beck posing as his sister. They would take the money and run after killing the old ladies. This Belgian version changes the tale dramatically with the pair seducing younger women. The acting is good but I was not thrilled with the story line. I recommend The Honeymoon Killers as a much better movie. Tony Lobianco and Shirley Stoler are perfectly cast as the murderous pair.
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7/10
not boring at all even as there isn't that much of horror to find
trashgang11 January 2018
So now and then Belgium do come forward with a horror flick. This one here is filed under horror but it isn't your usual horror, and if I say, Fabrice du Welz as director it will ring a bell for those geeks out there. Calvaire (2004) was a well made horror from this director and also not for everyone.

Alléluia is losely based on the Lonely Hearts Killers Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck who searched for loneley women to seduce them and finally kill them. It's a bit of the same here. Gloria (Lola Dueñas) is a lonely woman with a kid searching for the real one. When she comes across Michel Bellmer (Laurent Lucas also in controversial Raw (2017)) she falls in love with him and adores him a bit too much. He's a womanizer but she can live with that she thinks and they start a relation only to go badly wrong due Gloria being jealous Michel making love to the women.

There's a lot of characterization taking place so the real action or horror isn't the main part in this story. Still there are killings and it's in that part that some are offended because it's eldery women who are seduced. For those searching for a next Clavaire this will not deliver but those who can take a story with a few bloody moments it will be your thing. Even as you have to wait over 35 minutes before the first killing appears it never becomes boring at all.

Gore 0,5/5 Nudity 1,5/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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8/10
One of this best
cimilape13 September 2019
Superficially this is the Belgian take on the "crazed hillbilly" sub-genre of Last House on the Left or Deliverance, but in it's mixture of horror and surreal humor this is closer to something like Roman Polanski's The Tenant. The portrait of an isolated society who lives without women is taken to its logical and often shocking extremes. There is a scene at the local bar which must rank among the strangest and most memorable set pieces in recent years. The film is very atmospheric and the cinematography is stunning. You can almost feel the chill of the winter forest it takes place in.
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7/10
Another exercise in suffering from Fabrice du Welz!
parry_na22 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Director/writer Fabrice du Welz really has become a name to look out for. He seems to deal with, and delight in, punishing, murky human misery - and if there is a horror element in there too, the more successful his vision is! In this follow-up to the grim 'Vinyan' from six years earlier, his appetite for the bizarre and the grim has not diminished. Every visual here is plastered with a fug of clammy, grainy atmosphere - every pore exposed, every blemish displayed.

The story, however, comes second place by quite a distance. That's not to say the premise isn't fascinating. Nice, shy Gloria (Lola Dueñas) is coerced by a well-meaning friend to put herself forward for a date with online lonely-heart Michel (Laurent Lucas). To begin with, it seems Lucas is an uncaring villain, only interested in sex and money. His hostile treatment of Gloria's little girl is testament to that. Gloria, for her part, seems instantly blinded by love into stupidity, eagerly entrusting this new man with her finances and family. It seems Michel is every bit as bad as he seems, and that Gloria wants to join him in his unscrupulous adventures. After a while, we have to ask ourselves - who is the more unstable of the two?

The film is told in four acts. The first sets up the plot as outlined above. The latter three follow three of Michel's money-fuelled seduction/murderous crimes - all of them foiled by Gloria's violent jealousy. These three episodic stories follow the same path and ultimately seem to go nowhere. The finale, when it comes, doesn't seem to have solved anything.

The story is based upon real-life criminal duo, the Lonely Hearts Killers. It is a pity there isn't at least some sense of closure at the end, other than Michel realising how unhinged Gloria is - as we, the audience, have already seen for ourselves. Purely from a business point of view, Michel can't have conned any money out of the potential victims he has seduced because Gloria does away with them all in a succession of mad frenzies (in one memorable scene, she stops to sing some tender love song - into which bleeds the incidental score - before getting down to the business of sawing the limbs of her first victim. It's quite a moment).

The Belgian/French thriller boasts some extraordinary performances, especially from the two little girls - firstly Gloria's daughter, whose innocence and isolation is told entirely through her eyes. Secondly, the daughter of Solange (Héléna Noguerra), who we meet in the final chapter, delivers some extraordinary moments, vocalising her intense dislike for the unscrupulous Gloria. You should have listened to her, Solange!
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7/10
Startling and Twisted
terrancegore22 January 2019
I approached this film by Fabrice du Welz, with circumspection but I decided that he couldn't deliver something as twisted and difficult to watch as Calvaire, his first film.

How wrong was I. One of many films based on the real life "Lonely Hearts Killers", I challenge you to find one as affecting as this. Disturbing. Unhinged. Crazy. Just a few of the words that sum up this film and the relationship depicted in it.

Lola Duenas' turn, as Gloria, is as startling as it is twisted.
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6/10
Bonnie and Clyde in the Hall of Mirrors
paul2001sw-17 March 2017
Fabrice du Welz's film 'Alleluia' could be described as a hybrid true-story/horror/comedy film, and you don't get many of those. A lonely woman hooks up with a con-man: in theory, they'll make their fortune together, but his business is the seduction of his victims (indeed, that was how he met his partner) but she is pathologically jealous of each of their supposed marks. Cue some brutal scenes, and some quite imaginative, effective and genuinely portrayals of what it is like both inside and outside of her head. As for him, he shrugs his shoulders each time a con-trick ends in an unwanted early bloodbath, and moves onto the next target. It's clever, but the protagonists are so crazed, and so devoid of anything resembling a conventional moral compass, that it's hard to feel too sympathetic or involved. But the disastrous duo are at least fresh on our screens, like Bonnie and Clyde in the hall of mirrors.
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9/10
Pahahahahah!
mrodent338 August 2017
This is compelling viewing. One of the funniest films I've seen in a long time.

The problem is that I've lived in France and can only take a certain amount of naive French ideas about "la passion" seriously. Without wanting to give away any of the plot, I believe most people in most countries will be able to watch this and laugh out loud most of the time.

At it. Not with it.
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