Arthur, Malediction

Arthur, Malediction
Original title:Arthur, Malediction
Director:Barthélemy Grossmann
Running time:87 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Alex has been a fan of the Arthur and the Minimoys movies since he was a kid. For his birthday, his best friends surprise him by taking him to the abandoned house where the film was shot. None of them suspects that they are heading for a deadly trap. What was once a child's dream will soon turn into a real nightmare...

Mulder's Review

The cinematographic saga of Arthur and the Minimoys will have marked the memory of many young spectators and will have given birth to three films Arthur and the Invisibles (2006), Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard (2009) and Arthur 3: The War of the Two World) (2010) but also to video games, books and an attraction of the Futuroscope (Arthur, l'Aventure 4D) opened on December 19, 2009. The richness of this magical universe gives birth here to a rather clever concept in which a group of young teenagers who are fans of Arthur and the Minimoys find themselves in the house of the film in a remote village in France and what should be an exciting immersion turns into a pure waking nightmare.

After an introductory scene presenting us with a group of inseparable young people who watch the first Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) on television and seem to gravitate around the young Alex, an absolute fan of this film, we find these young people ten years later gathered again in the house of one of them to celebrate Alex's birthday and give him an unexpected surprise. Indeed, they found the house of the film in which is used as decoration to that of the young Arthur and his grandmother Daisy. However, once there, things do not go as expected and these young people are going to find themselves facing an over-trained gang with the will to leave no witness of their actions.

Arthur's Curse erases all the fantastic aspect of the universe created by Luc Besson to turn into a minimalist horror movie that seriously struggles to start. We have to wait no less than an hour to find ourselves in a French-style home invasion trying to reproduce the spirit of the American films that have marked this horrific sub-genre. However, where Blumhouse Productions shows that it perfectly masters the codes necessary for any good horror thriller, Arthur, Curse really struggles to convince. As much as we can understand the will of the scriptwriter and co-producer Luc Besson to propose a film forbidden only to the under 12 years old by erasing all really striking and shocking scenes, the structure of the film reveals a haphazard construction of the story and a visible lack of care to give life to original dialogues and striking characters. Except for the revelation of the film, Thalia Besson who seems destined to a promising future in cinema, the rest of the young actors do not manage to breathe a minimum of life into their characters.

Certainly the film makes several allusions to Arthur and the Invisibles, whether it be excerpts from this film on a television set, the various derivatives that young Alex collects, or some members of this gang of delinquents used to life-size role-playing games, but this is not enough to give a real thickness to Arthur, Curse. The numerous borrowings from American horror films such as The People Under the Stairs (1991) by Wes Craven or Friday the 13th show that this film is only content to propose a spin-off hardly ambitious to Arthur and the Invisibles. For his second film after 13m2 the director Barthélemy Grossmann only gives life to a too simplistic scenario without trying to propose ambitious plans and to create a particularly successful claustrophobic atmosphere. This is a pity because this film had enough consistency to please the numerous fans of the universe created by Luc Besson as well as an audience in search of thrills.

The direct release of Arthur's Curse on a streaming platform like Netflix or Prime Video would have been a better choice and would have allowed it to meet a wider audience. In this case, even Luc Besson's fans will be disappointed and will have to wait for the magic of this self-sufficient trilogy to be extended.

Arthur, Malédiction
Directed by Barthélemy Grossmann
Produced by Luc Besson, Fanny Besson
Written by Luc Besson
With Mathieu Berger, Thalia Besson, Lola Andreoni, Mikaël Halimi, Yann Mendy, Jade Pedri, Vadim Agid, Marceau Ebersolt
Music: 38ème Donne
Cinematography : Colin Wandersman
Editing: Julien Rey
Production companies: Luc Besson Productions, Kinology, Cofinova 17
Distributed by Apollo Films (France), EuropaCorp Distribution
Release date: June 29, 2022 (France)
Running time: 87 minutes

Seen on June 29, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 5 seat  A19

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