Belphégor, Phantom of the Louvre (France - 2001)
Starring: Sophie Marceau, Michel Serrault, Frédéric Diefenthal
Director: Jean-Paul Salomé
Plot: In modern-day Paris, a 3000-year-old mummy's tortured soul comes to life,
possesses the body of a young woman, and haunts the Louvre museum at night dressed in black robes.
Review: A remake / homage of the '60s French TV series of the same name,
Belphégor, Phantom of the Louvre wants to be an effects-laden ghost story about an Egyptian mummy, one that comes out not so much a
The Mummy wanna-be as a B-movie of the variety of the Hammer U.K. production house. Some great elements are in place: a popular story, some A-list actors, a famous museum setting, and the promise of some great special effects. Unfortunately, director Salomé had his children in mind when doing this film, and it shows - the scares are non-existent, the
atmosphere lacking, the suspense laughable, and the violence kept at a minimum. There are a few decent effects here, as Marceau climbs the walls, or the CGI-created soul of the mummy zipping around the room, but it's all otherwise pretty cheaply made. The crew somehow got permission to shoot in The Louvre, a first, and the exterior court and entrance of the famous museum are well shot, but the interiors are filmed with a total lack of any artistic value and never showcase its promising locale, making it all
quite banal. As for the script, it's all kids-TV level stuff, including some terrible dialogue and a set of caricatures for characters that barely engender any sympathy or interest. Sophie Marceau, one of the leading actresses of modern French cinema, adds a touch of class to the
proceedings but one can't help wondering what she's doing in this film. Two more famous faces, Michel Serrault and Julie Christie, play the game without much interest, though they do get off some decent one-liners. In the end,
Belphégor comes out as a badly made copy of a typical mainstream horror / suspense flick with little redeeming value.