Films & Schedules

  • Vinyan

  • Fabrice Du Welz

France/United Kingdom/Belgium
96 minutes

Production Company:
The Film/Film4/Pilchard Productions/K2/One Eyed/Backup Films
Michael Gentile
Fabrice du Welz
Production Designer:
Arin Pinijvararak
Benoît Debie
Colin Monie
Frédéric Meert
François-Eudes Chanfrault
Principal Cast: Emmanuelle Béart, Rufus Sewell

US Distributor:
Sony Pictures Entertainment
International Sales Agent:
Wild Bunch

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Torn by the loss of their son Joshua in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, Paul (Rufus Sewell from Dark City) and Jeanne Bellmer (Emmanuelle Béart from Manon des sources) have remained in Phuket, Thailand. Since Joshua's body has never been recovered, they cling frantically to the hope that he has survived. Glimpsing a boy who looks like Joshua in video footage from a village of orphaned children on the Thai-Burmese border, Jeanne becomes consumed by the belief her son was kidnapped by traffickers in the chaos that followed the tsunami.

Unwilling to shatter his wife's faith, Paul follows skeptically as she throws the last of their money at a sinister smuggler who promises to take them by boat into pirate-infested waters to find their son. As a glimmer of hope lights their quest through the dark jungle, the traumatized couple is pulled into a primeval hell created by their own obsessions and mutual desperation for some sense of closure. They are the living who purposefully invade the land of spirits.

Fabrice Du Welz was introduced to Midnight Madness audiences in 2004 with his surreally twisted debut Calvaire, a survival horror tale that blended elements of Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Vinyan, his triumphant second feature, was initially labelled by Internet buzz as an extreme horror film, but is actually more of a psychological descent into the unknown in which Eastern spiritual themes of despair are coupled with the type of maternal motifs found in David Cronenberg's The Brood and Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now.

Du Welz coaxes an emotionally fraught performance from his two strong leads, as they face treacherous terrain, unpredictable weather and a jungle filled with wild threats at every turn. The ethereal score by composer François-Eudes Chanfrault (À l'intérieur, Haute tension) and vibrant colours drawn from the landscape by cinematographer Benoît Debie (Calvaire, Irréversible) work in kaleidoscopic harmony, flooding the senses and setting the viewer up for what the director describes as a truly baroque third act.

Propelling the audience into a paranoia-filled heart of darkness, Vinyan leads to a confrontation with madness in a storm-torn jungle alive with feral children.

Colin Geddes

Fabrice Du Welz was born in Belgium and studied film at l'Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion (INSAS) in Brussels. His films include Calvaire (04) and Vinyan (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award