Archive of films The Ordeal / Calvaire

Belgium / France / Luxembourg
2004, 94 min

Section: Focus on Belgian Film
Year: 2010

In this dark and surprising horror film a man’s car breaks down and he ends up in a remote inn in the woods. What lies in store for him is a bewildering Way of the Cross, for we soon begin to see why the peculiar innkeeper has not had many guests in recent years.


Crooner Marc is making ends meet by performing in retirement homes scattered across the country. On an overnight drive through the foggy Ardennes, his old delivery van breaks down and he has to find shelter at a remote inn. The oddball innkeeper, Bartel, clearly hasn’t had many guests in recent years, certainly not since his wife left him in the lurch. The next day it turns out the van won’t be that easy to fix and the telephone doesn’t seem to be working either. Obviously, Marc won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The torment suggested in the title can now commence.... The result is a dark, surprising and violent horror film, which refers, in a comic yet gruesome way, to illustrious predecessors such as Deliverance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Misery. The main character’s macabre struggle for survival leaves the viewer completely shocked and disconcerted after witnessing this bizarre and absurd "love story.”

About the director

Fabrice du Welz (b. 1972, Belgium) studied at INSAS film school in Brussels. His macabre short film, with its strangely romantic title Quand on est amoureux c’est merveilleux (1999), showed that this writer-director was entirely at home with the horror and fantasy genre. The short was produced by Vincent Tavier (who worked on the Belgian cult film C’est arrivé près de chez vous) and served as a springboard for Welz’s debut film, the extravagant horror drama The Ordeal; it was crowned three times at the Gerardmer Fantasy IFF and shown in the Semaine de la critique in Cannes. Selected for the Venice film festival in 2008, his second feature, Vinyan, is a hallucinatory horror trip detailing a mother (Emmanuelle Béart) and father’s (Rufus Sewell) search for a son who disappeared in a tsunami.


Wallonie Bruxelles Images
18 Place Eugene Flagey, 1050, Brussels
Tel: +32 2 223 23 04
Fax: +32 2 218 34 24

Funny Balloons
4 bis rue Saint Sauveur, 75002, Paris
Tel: +33 140 130 586
Fax: +33 142 333 499

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Focus on Belgian Film
Director: Fabrice du Welz
Screenplay: Fabrice du Welz, Romain Protat
Dir. of Photography: Benoît Debie
Music: Vincent Cahay
Editor: Sabine Hubeaux
Producer: La Parti – The Film – Tarantula
Production: La Parti Production
Cast: Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon
Contact: Wallonie Bruxelles Images, Funny Balloons


Fabrice du Welz

Film Director, Film Director

Eric Franssen

Film Institution Rep.


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