Red Lights

aka FEUX ROUGES

Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard, Charline Paul

Director: Cedric Kahn

After telling the story of the Cote d’Azur serial killer ROBERTO SUCCO in the film of the same name, French director Cedric Kahn focuses on another violent crime in his tense thriller RED LIGHTS. The story is based on Georges Simenon’s novel ‘Feux Rouges’ which describes the weekend break from hell.

Jean-Pierre Darroussin (LA VIE EST TRANQUILLE, C’EST LE BOUQET) plays Antoine, a Parisian insurance salesman who appears to have a more meaningful relationship with cognac than he does with his wife Helene (Carole Bouquet) a successful lawyer. Perhaps he’s suffering from wounded pride – a middle-aged man who has been overtaken on the career ladder by his wife and has lost his place in the new order of society. He’s moody, snappy and argumentative – an achingly real performance by Darroussin of the sulky husband. As the couple set out to pick up their children from summer camp in the countryside one Friday evening, their marital difficulties are played out in the claustrophobic confines of the car stuck in a seemingly never-ending motorway jam.

In his frustration Antoine insists on stopping every few miles for a swift cognac or two, and eventually Helene decides to leave her husband in the car and take the train instead. In what turns out to be a fatal mistake, Antoine is forced to sober up when he is confronted with a hitchhiker that would make even HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR’s seem like a soft-touch. All this with a Claude Debussy soundtrack gives Kahn’s thriller a compelling tension.

3 out of 6 stars

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