Trouble Every Day (France - 2001)
Starring: Vincent Gallo, Béatrice Dalle, Tricia Vessey
Director: Claire Denis
Plot: A French doctor keeps his wife locked up until he can find a cure for her cannibalistic sexual urges while an American scientist suffering from the same disease desperately tries to find them.
Review: Trouble Every Day, the latest offering from director Denis
(Good Work), is an unsettling piece of "auteur" film-making, a psychological thriller turned social commentary inspired by vampire stories. Whatever else, the film is well shot, sometimes bordering on the "artsy" for its own sake but allowing for a certain mounting tension. The carnal acts, for there is no love here, are passionate, animalistic, and finally cannibalistic, with the camera calmly focusing on the succession of events, unflinching. Sex and fear have always been a favorite combination for good horror stories (see
Hellraiser), and with its blend of horror, vampirism, sexual deviancy and cannibalism, Denis offers up a disturbing, violent piece in a similar vein. Unfortunately, what starts off interestingly enough soon drags on without keeping our interest. There are inklings of a pseudo-scientific explanation but no answers are really forthcoming, events only alluding to what might actually be going on, with the story-line only growing more ridiculous as it leads towards its anti-climax. If there's a message here, it's well hidden. What we're left with are some pretty revolting, unsettling graphic images without context. As for the two leads, Gallo is wooden, rarely depicting any emotion except a vague sort of ennui. Dalle, however, manages without any dialogue to portray a woman torn between her deviant lust and her rare moments of conscience. With
Trouble Every Day Denis may have wanted to detail the animal attraction of sex with her own inimitable style and social view, but what comes out is a horror film that is too vague to be accepted by fans of the genre, and too flighty and disgusting to be admired by anyone else. An interesting failure, for sure, and one that may achieve cult status, perhaps.
Entertainment / Drama: 4/10