Bon Bon Rouges Movie Review
Written by ZigZag
An A.normal Productions Production
Written and Directed by Jef. Grenier
2009, Region 0 (NTSC), 44 minutes, Not rated
Halloween is more fun to celebrate than Christmas. The decorations are cooler, the candies are creepier and the dress code is crazier! Trick or treating is an experience that is fun for both the kids who prowl for candy and for the adults who get to scare them. The young couple featured in Bon Bon Rouges shares a love for the holiday and all the genre fun associated with it. Their apartment is filled with movie posters, countless horror videos, and the Halloween holiday provides the perfect excuse to dress up and scare neighborhood children.
A child wearing a skeleton costume has knocked on our hero's door for the past few Halloweens. Slightly unsettled, Luc Bernier's character remembers wearing the same disguise as a kid and digs out an old photo album. He shows the costume to his girlfriend (Isabelle Stephen) who dismisses the coincidence to focus on more adult fun. Later that night a thunderstorm brings bad dreams that have some creepy imagery.
It is after two brief appearances of Halloween past that the film leaps to a contemporary setting. The young couple watches a horror film called Necronomicon of the Dead Blind (a fantastic salute to the Spanish Blind Dead series) until the guy is sent on an errand for more beer and a better film. At the video store he meets a man dressed as a clown, who sets in motion a series of events that build to the slightly predictable finale.
It feels a bit clumsy in execution to give this short two introductions before the current events are introduced with a movie parody. The film within a film is nice, but takes away from the limited (44 minute) overall running time. Oddly, the trailer for Bon Bon Rouges is made almost entirely of footage from the Blind Dead film spoof.
While the plot is structurally challenged, the talent behind the camera will keep the audience's attention. Director Jef. Grenier keeps the tone light and allows the suspense to build while keeping the film moving at a steady pace. Luc Bernier and Isabelle Stephen (Vampire Sisters) bring a relaxed confidence to their nameless characters and their on screen chemistry is quite convincing. Both are quite likeable and carry the film with their believable approach. Stephen looks fantastic in her skimpy costume and her playful flirtations keep the quiet moments from feeling stagnant. Bernier has some nice moments including the bizarre meeting with a vomit monster.
Bon Bon Rouges is not a perfect movie, but it is entertaining. Grenier has directed a number of short films that successfully blend horror with comedy. Perhaps best known for creating the Killer Cups series (part 3 is currently in production) in response to the dull offerings of early '90s horror entertainment. Grenier takes a goofy idea of Styrofoam cups attacking people in a school, and follows it with a sequel (featuring Isabelle Stephen) of epic magnitude. The level of energy brought to these smaller projects makes the anticipation of his switch to features a very exciting prospect.
Video and Audio:
Not reviewed as this is a screener.
This DVD comes packed with supplemental materials, including a 17 minute behind the scenes / blooper reel combo. A worthless alternate ending is offered along with 5 minutes of footage from the Halloween party premiere. Six entertaining trailers for additional company titles provide a nice overview of the catalogue.
The unexpected highlight comes in the presentation of a 41 minute photo gallery that is paired with an audio interview with the director. This feature makes up for the lack of a proper commentary track, and the full piece can be heard at Monsters At Play.
The resourceful talent of Jef. Grenier is growing with each project. Low budget Canadian horror has many talented filmmakers offering a wide variety of projects that salute the horror films they grew up on. Grenier chooses to fill the frame with video boxes and posters of the films that influenced him; setting the tone for the characters that occupy the space and cue the audience for the director's mindset. His enthusiasm is contagious and I look forward to seeing as many films as he cares to share with us south of the border.