The Mansion (Le Manoir) Review – Scooby-Doo on Space Cakes
Netflix brings us a new horror-comedy treat with this little French film ‘Le Manoir’ or ‘The Mansion’ depending how fancy and confident in your accent work you are. This is Tony T. Datis’ feature film debut and, combined with his music video work and short film, shows a fair bit of promise for his future works.
‘Le Manoir’ is not exactly what I’d usually think of when tackling French horror, nobody was skinned alive or had their fetus removed with a pair of scissors so…I guess this is a very different direction for what is usually an extreme and visceral genre. Obviously, that would be where the comedy part of horror-comedy comes in to play, the last thing I can accuse films such as Inside, Frontier(s) or Martyrs of is having a humorous side.
‘Le Manoir’ begins when a group of students arrive at a giant mansion to celebrate New Year together. They’re out in the middle of nowhere, isolated from the world and ready to party…so of course things are about to go sour. As the night unfolds events take a strange turn and the bodies begin to pile up. Their only form of transport disappears and clearly takes the phone signal with it because, well, horror film I guess.
One thing that is definitely fun about this film is the combination of characters. A lot of the cast seem to be vloggers or YouTube stars so don’t expect oscar-worthy performances. It’s hammy and each one bends to certain stereotypes but that’s what makes this film the little slice of camp that it is.
So, lets meet our party goers! We have:
- Little Miss Organised Fun, Nadine (Nathalie Odzierejko aka. Natoo) and her Caretaker Boyfriend Fabrice (Marc Jarousseau aka. Kemar) who are ‘Going to bring life into the world’…oh and their chihuahua…Kitty. They are ‘that’ couple and believe me, they get even more sickening as the film progresses.
- The Drug Master Drazic (Vincent Tirel) who is the most chilled character who has ever been written. With a constant spliff in his mouth this stoner character is great comedic relief without going to far in to cliche.
- The Hollywood Dreamer with the 30 cm dick. No you did not misread that! Djamal (Mister V) is a wannabee actor who has been blessed below the waist. He insists that he is so much more than just his ‘not-so-little-Djamal’ but in my opinion that thing should have its own IMDB credit (watch the film, I’m not being a horn-dog I promise).
- The Ginger Nerd Bruno (Ludovik Day) who has one of the grossest scenes in the film. Seriously, there is so much snot!
- The Hot One Sam (Vanessa Guide) who may have slept with every member of the group, or at least dished out som B.J’s for them. Constantly stuck to her side is her Love Sick Fun Sponge Ex Stéphane (Jérôme Niel) who has moon-eyes and a serious bad attitude.
- The Tough As Nails Officer Jess (Delphine Baril) who kicks some ass but also wants to be a sexy little dancer.
And last but not least
- The Wednesday Adams Look Alike Charlotte (Lila Lacombe) who seems a bit suspect and creepy from the offset. She indulges in some ‘Magic’ cupcakes and has an ominous conversation with a death omen pig…cause why the fuck not?
What started as a fun 2000’s themed fancy dress New Year begins to deteriorate after the first death of the film, Kitty. Holy fuck they killed a dog! Do they not know the rules! Maybe this is a theme of French horror-comedy as another chihuahua bit the dust in Girls with Balls. Maybe they ain’t the most loved breed of dogs. To make matters worse Charlotte has disappeared and now the group need to go into full Scooby-Doo investigation mode.
As the film progresses it descends into madness. There’s some suspicion of the supernatural, a stalking antler headed demon and some messed up taxidermy. However there is still time to introduce one more comedic character, Enzo (Baptiste Lorber).
Enzo is essentially an 80’s pimp. He looks like the villain from Despicable Me 2 and has a pimp wagon with a disco ball, shag carpets and a pet snake. I don’t want to give too much away about his entrance to the film because it’s one of the highlight moments in my opinion. Just be prepared for some bear traps, a pity lap dance and a long pay off Oscar Pistorius joke. If that’s not cryptic enough to make you want to watch this then I think I’ve failed you and need to try harder.
Funny, ridiculous, farcical and all the fucking better for it, Le Manoir is an easy-peasy chilled out watch. Horror-comedy can be a difficult line to walk and The Mansion does a relatively good job of keeping both on track. It’s not a masterpiece, it’s not the best film ever, but it’s fun and entertaining. It’s definitely worth 100 mins of your time. I mean sometimes you just need to turn your brain off, eat a mushroom muffin and take in the funnies.