This film was screened at Fantastic Fest
Drawing upon fantasy, horror, and fairy tales, director and co-writer Lucas Delangle creates a haunting world of healers and mystical realism in “The Strange Case of Jacky Calliou,” his feature debut. Relying on a cast of mostly non-actors, this strange film veers off in an unexpected direction, taking viewers on a ride into darker territory.
Jacky (Thomas Parigi) is a budding musician who lives with his grandmother Gisèle (Edwige Blondiau), a locally renowned magnetic healer, in the French Alps. He spends his days divided between composing original experimental songs and learning the art of controlling energy as a force for good. Jacky supposedly has the gift, and is torn. Should he stay in the sleepy small town, help heal the townspeople, and carry on the family tradition, or is he worthy of moving on to the big city to realize his dream of working as a musician?
When his grandmother dies suddenly, Jacky takes that as a sign that he has permission to pursue his dreams. He’s finally free of the ancestral burden and the weight of his supposed supernatural gifts. But things get complicated when the beautiful Elsa (Lou Lampros) shows up with a mysterious rash that looks like a large patch of fur on her back. Jacky feels like it’s his responsibility to try and heal the young woman, but her strange medical condition is more serious than she originally admitted. Elsa begins changing in ways that are horrific, and Jacky can’t seem to tear himself away.
The film isn’t a typical monster movie. Delangle has a good eye for directing, and the dark and dreamy film flows and winds itself into a nightmare. Astute viewers will figure out where the story is going early on, but it’s still filled with enough surprises to keep things fresh.
“The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou” is a story of responsibility and transformation of both the physical and emotional kind. It’s a creative and interesting exercise in independent fantasy / horror filmmaking.
By: Louisa Moore