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Resonnances - Synapse Films Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Written by Chris Mayo   
Tuesday, 14 December 2010

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Directed by: Philippe Robert
Written by: Philippe Robert
Produced by: Guillaume Raphoz, Philippe Robert
Cinematography by: Philippe Robert
Music by: Richard Sanderson
Cast: Johanna Andraos, Marjorie Dubesset, Vincent Lecompte, Sophie Michard, Franck Monsigny, Patrick Mons, Romain Ogerau
Year: 2006
Country: France
Language: French
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 13 min

Studio: Synapse Films

Official Website: Origin Art

The French have been sending a brutal shockwave through the Horror industry recently, with films such as "À l'intérieur," "Frontière(s)" and "Martyrs" coming out of France.  Most recently Synapse Films are back with another eclectic addition to their library.  This time around it's the 2006 film from France, "Resonnances."  Unlike the aforementioned films however, this one is different.  It isn't a brutal onslaught of horror carnage, but rather a low-budget take on sci-fi horror films in the vein of "Tremors."

In France, 1663, a meteor crash lands to earth and narrowly misses a woman carrying a basket of linens.  Unfortunately for her she meets her demise by a mysterious creature that hitched a ride on the earthbound extraterrestrial crater.

Jumping forward, the film tracks a group of friends who have joined forces for a party/get-together at a mountaintop retreat.  After an evening dinner, the trio of men decide to follow the women to their destination from their own vehicle.  On their way the men get lost and run out of gas, forcing them to push the car to a nearby gas station up the road.  They fill up and attempt to pay for the petrol but the station is deserted, aside from a dubious character named Sébastien claiming he broke down and has been waiting for highway patrol for an hour.  The group reluctantly agrees to give him a lift.  Viewers soon realize that Sébastien is probably the escaped mental patient mentioned on the radio earlier since there's a cut scene showing the gas attendant in the back room, dead, hanging from chains.  The true characteristics of Sébastien are unbeknownst to the men and they truck forward.

As the men venture ahead to find their destination, they become startled by what appears to be an apparition of a woman in the road, sending them careening off the edge of the mountainside cliff onto some trees below.  Narrowly escaping death, their car teeters atop the trees, while a passenger gets ripped from the vehicle by what looks to be some sort of tentacle.  Afterwards, the car comes crashing to the ground.  Luckily the two friends are unharmed, but now they must deal with Sébastien and whatever creature lurks in the area.

"Resonnances" takes its time.  It takes about 45-minutes before we get to the creature causing chaos.  The foundation of the film is spent introducing the characters, and pairing them for a BBQ before their getaway.  When the film finally holds its own we at least have some characters to care about, and want them to evade their predicament.

According to Origin Art's press kit (the studio behind the film), "Resonnances" budget was 45,000 Euros (approximately $60,000 US).  For a film with such a small budget with so many FX shots (400 in total to be exact), the film shines above its meagre means.  One cannot expect a polished Hollywood production, but something more akin to "Lexx" or made-for-TV movies on the Sci-Fi channel.  However, don't let this detract you.  The FX work is still surprisingly good, with crane shots, cool miniatures and monster mayhem.  They are obviously not going to look like a multimillion dollar movie but they do have a cheesy appeal.

A major thing "Resonnances" has going for it above all other sci-fi films of its kind are interesting characters with engrossing, witty dialog.  I doubt you'd see such a polished script in one of those low budget sci-fi American productions.  Characters aside, the subterranean extraterrestrial monster is cool, almost resembling the Loch Ness monster but underground rather than under water (for a gander at the beast, check out the awesome painting that Synapse Films provided for the cover art).  The creature terrorizes its prey, finding their whereabouts by way of sound and vibrations. Ultimately trying to bring them to their final resting spot -- a scrap yard graveyard of discarded cars and bodily remains.

"Resonnances" isn't so much a horror movie as it is a suspenseful sci-fi film.  There is a little bit of gore, and some horror elements but the film stays more towards the suspenseful side of things where the prey tries to dodge the monster's clutches.  While obviously not for everyone and with limited repeat value, "Resonnances" is a pretty good film that has enough to go around for an overall fun, entertaining low-budget sci-fi adventure.

Synapse Films presents "Resonnances" in a 1.85:1 un-anamorphic aspect ratio, claiming it was shot this way.  While it would have been nice to view the film anamorphic, viewers can still mimic this with their remote's zoom feature.  We get both French Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 audio options with clear English subtitles.  While it would have been nice to see some of the supplemental features from the creator's website featured on this release, we do get the film's theatrical trailer.


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 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 non-anamorphic
 Region: NTSC 1
 Audio: French Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1

 - Theatrical Trailer

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