Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Project Terrible: Black Heaven (2010)

It's that terrible time of the month yet again! No, not that time of the month... well... oh, you know what I mean! We're doing the Project Terrible thing again. I believe this pick comes to me from the man at Gaming Creatively, and I thank him for this pick actually. Life can get much worse than this. I still need to watch Evil Weed - I think you'll see what I mean.

Black Heaven is a French drama/thriller about a young man named Gaspard who becomes intrigued by a woman after saving her from committing suicide. He follows her into the world of "Black Hole," a dark and mysterious online game, straining his relationship with his girlfriend and friends as he delves deeper into this strange woman's blackness.

Sounds like a load of bullshit right? Sexy woman with a tattoo that says "Heaven" on her ass manages to take complete mental control of an impressionable youth upon their first meeting? However, it was really the online video game part of the movie intrigued me and those turn out to be the only good parts of the movie. The plot is simplistic and while most of the movie does a good job at pulling you into the story, it all ends too abruptly. Maybe the biggest downside is that I don't really "get" the movie. I'm not sure what the point of the story is really supposed to be or if I even understand the message, if in fact there is one to be learned.

Black Heaven is really not a terrible movie at all, and it is actually the kind of movie I like to watch every now and then, but it's not fantastic either. It is shot in a beautiful style and all, but the story is just weird. It says in the Netflix description that Audrey makes people commit suicide after drawing them to her through the game. However, it turns that her avatar in the game is actually her brother, and he uses her to carry out his own agenda, or fantasy, which is that he likes to watch people commit suicide. Huh? Why? He goes into this long monologue to Gaspard at one point where he might explain just why he likes to do this, but I guess I wasn't paying enough attention. Either way, it's a weird thing to have an obsession with, wouldn't you say?

Another problem I have with Black Heaven is this:

This is our main character, Gaspard (the actor's name is Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet if you care), and THIS is the same face he makes throughout the entire movie. Emotionless. Blank. No showing, even in some more dramatic scenes, of any emotion. Not even an eyebrow-raise or upper-lip-twitch for this dude. Sure, when the story is all said and done, he finally breaks down and cries to his girlfriend Marion at the end but it was too little too late. Maybe he's a fine actor and chose to do this to represent his character's... oh, I don't know... feeling of emptiness or whatever. But there's no indication beforehand that Gaspard was at all dissatisfied with his life before he met Audrey.

I did love the animation of the Black Hole video game. It's very cool looking. I guess the game is supposed to be like Sims or something, where you create an avatar for yourself and walk around this virtual city meeting people and, like, doing other stuff. It always seems to be night in this city and all the colors are dark and black with lots of shadows. The avatars get to go to exclusive clubs where the agenda is not exactly clear, and occasionally beat each other up on the street. Anyway, I loved how they let the game tell the story at parts, when Gaspard is playing it, looking for Audrey. This also helps in keeping Audrey's game identity a secret since it is actually her brother playing.

So while Black Heaven is a good looking movie, the main actor is boring and the message of the movie is completely lost on me. Is it a French thing or something? Because I don't get it. And I don't have any other insights right now, so if you think you could get this movie, please watch it and let me know. Black Heaven is a bit of a slow film, but the characters and their relationships are interesting enough to keep you watching until the sadly disappointing ending.


  1. I dunno, it sounds pretty dull. 8/ it's either that or I never played Sims ever.

  2. Your comments are totally on point, except I think it is actually a pretty terrible film. I just sat through the entire thing and am quite sorry I did. here are some things about it that work, namely the VR world, just as you said. But nothing else - wooden acting from the dude who played Gaspar; not sure why Marion's dad was such a hard on or why the story needed to include either her dad or brother; the weird thing w/ the dog/VR pet whining all the time and randomly turning up; those thugs hanging out w/ those kids; Gaspar's ridiculous friend Ludo etc. All pointless, and like you I did wonder if it's a French thing. I love a lot of French films, but this is polished but major suckage.

  3. You guys all need to stop reading comic books and get off the dope! This is a brilliant and classy movie! Don't try and over think this movie. It is a very good and clever psychological thriller. The movie is about an extremely dysfunctional and mentally sick man and his impact mentally on vulnerable people he comes close to and the control he has over them. The video game is merely the tool he uses to find his victims. The movie remained unpredictable right to the end. It was an exciting thrill ride and I will watch it again!

  4. Michele... I think you must be shallow and pretty up yourself if you cant handle my posting a review that is different from yours! I don't normally leave a comment on blogs. Instead of being pissed off with me for saying I liked it a lot you should of been feeling good that someone is reading your blog and is interested enough to write a comment. Not everyone is going to appreciate and like the same movies. You like "Shaun of the Dead" and I think that movie sucks. But, same as you, I really love "Wrong Turn". I also loved their sequels... Keep up with your Blog. I do like it! But you should try and lighten up about people having a differnt view. Anyway... have a good night :-)

    1. Um, I could probably better explain myself or apologize if I knew just what you were talking about! Who are you and when did I ever get pissed off at you for your review?

  5. Thanks for doing a blog on this movie, let me say my house mate and I caught this film on early morning SBS and the story had us glued to it in such suspense. I definitely do prefer foreign films over the typical american bullshit.