Saint Ange (2004 film)

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Still from Saint Ange (2004 film)...

Saint Ange, AKA St. Ange, House of Voices (2004 film)

Summary

Anna is a cleaning woman who accepts a post at the St. Ange Orphanage. She arrives to confront an unsettling lack of orphans, save for one who acts far too childish for her age. Then the bizarre sights and sounds begin, which seem to elude detection by the only other servant or the gloomy institution's director. Is this all in Anna's mind? Or does something more sinister lurk in the heart of St. Ange?

Details

  • Release Date: 2004
  • Country/Language: France, English and French with subtitles
  • Genres/Technical: Drama, Fantasy, Horror (psychological horror), Art/Experimental
  • Runtime: 1 hr 38 min
  • Starring: Virginie Ledoyen, Lou Doillon, Catriona MacColl
  • Director: Pascal Laugier
  • Writer: Pascal Laugier
  • Producer/Production Co: Castel Film Romania, Eskwad, France 3 Cinéma
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDb page: (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Nudity, Violence, Adult Content, Profanity)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Not exactly a "Lovecraftian" film in the sense of being based on any of Lovecraft's work or containing references to his creations, though some viewers may find the location and atmosphere suggestive of Lovecraft's work (an "Eldritch Location" film). There might, perhaps, be just a bit of "The Dunwich Horror (fiction)" or "Herbert West - Reanimator (fiction)" in the plot somewhere.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Anon. at Home Theater Info (link) - "This is a strange little film. Now strange is not necessarily a bad thing but here it just doesn’t seem to click at too many levels. The exposition unfolds slowly; again, something completely within the parameters of the genre, but there is too much disconnection between the past and present. It is obvious from the start that this orphanage is some sort of damned place, the children sent there lost and adrift but a few more intermittent shocks to keep the audience on the edge of their seats would have helped a lot. Too many of the scary moments are telegraphed to the point where you can see it coming, not great for a flick intended to scary you. There are hints that are more subtle than necessary. I’m usually a big fan of subtle its just here a little more overt direction for the audience would have added a lot to the continuity."
  • Spooky Pie at This Girl Loves Horror, (link) - "...When looking around the internet I saw that this movie was getting a very mixed reception, and after viewing it I understand why. It's not for everyone.... I can't say this is a movie I would recommend to the horror fan crowd in general. However, if you are someone who is interested in a sensitive, almost fairy-tale sort of ghost story, this meets that...."
  • U. J. Lessing at EFilmCriticDotCom (link) - "Director Pascal Laugier does a competent job of raising some tension, but his screenplay is too diffuse and sloppy to be captivating. ... Characters stumble from place to place, and revelations seem more convoluted than intriguing. Papers are discovered. Hidden areas are located. Toys are found. Kittens are discovered drowned. Yet none of it ever really fits together or even makes a lot of sense, even when the final revelation is made. The ending is just as confusing as the body of the film, and is inexcusably cruel to the heroine."
  • Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (2/5 Stars) (link) - "While Pascal Laugier develops the atmosphere well, Saint Ange remains a film that builds but ultimately fails to go anywhere. The ending reached is a dog’s breakfast of loose ends and vague and untied plot strands that leaves one scratching their head in puzzlement..."

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

Anna is a cleaning woman who accepts a post at the St. Ange Orphanage. She arrives to confront an unsettling lack of orphans, save for one who acts far too childish for her age. Then the bizarre sights and sounds begin, which seem to elude detection by the only other servant or the gloomy institution's director. Is this all in Anna's mind? Or does something more sinister lurk in the heart of St. Ange?


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes