Satan (aka Sheitan)

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Olivier Bartélémy and Roxane Mesquida
Tartan Video
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 26 March 2007

A group of friends, worse for wear on drink and drugs, leave the Styx nightclub and drive into the countryside to stay at Eve's family home for Christmas. They are immediately accosted by Joseph, who is at turns wildly over-friendly and sinisterly threatening. He is plainly quite crazy, but all the boys can think about is getting it on with Eve and her friend. Joseph's unseen pregnant wife is building a doll made from the belongings of the new arrivals, and the entire community appears to share a dark secret...

Sheitan, the original title of this film, is Persian for Satan. Joseph relays a mad tale about Satan's child being born out of incest, and the fact that his own wife (or maybe it's his sister) is pregnant seems to indicate that he believes his own child is the son of the devil. It is even born on the stroke of midnight. In fact, everyone in the area seems to be off-kilter and inbred.

Vincent Cassel plays Joseph with convincing relish, and the end sequence which flits between a hospital and the house is handled particularly well.

This French, subtitled film is certainly worth giving a chance, but it's not to the standard of Switchblade Romance and Ordeal, with which Satan has been grouped by the marketing.

Extras include the (very) short film Vampire, and a Making of... documentary.

Ty Power

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