Vincent Must Die (Fantasia 2023)

ATMOSfx! Woo!

★★ 1/2 out of ★★★★★

🩸 out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸
Directed by Stéphan Castang

Vincent (Karim Leklou) has a problem… It began in the office when an intern smacked him in the face with a laptop and then escalated when another colleague stabbed him in the arm with a letter opener. After these harrowing events which he writes off as workplace drama, Vincent begins to realize that there are others who want to attack him for no reason! The problem gets so bad that he escapes to his family country house hoping to avoid all other people.

There he meets another victim of this senseless violence who directs him to an online group of “sentinels”, where he learns that this is only affecting some people when they make eye-contact with others, how to keep himself safe (isolation and avoidance) and that this phenomena is spreading around the globe.

When he meets Margeaux (Vimala Pons) a waitress who doesn’t seem to have the urges to attack, Vincent is instantly smitten and begins to navigate his new life, and possibly love, in the strange new world.

Vincent Must Die doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be. Had they leaned into the comedy of the first third of the film, it could become a classic á la Shaun of the Dead or, had they kept the tone dark like the last third of the film, it would have been a very tense thriller on par with Bird Box or A Quiet Place. Instead, it teeters somewhere in the middle and doesn’t quite reach its potential or give any explanation as to why this was happening to Vincent (or why he didn’t just put on sunglasses to avoid eye contact).

After making its debut at Cannes, Vincent Must Die made its North American debut at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Check out the trailer and we will keep you posted as to where this film will be popping up next.

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