Title: Left Bank

Also known as:
Linkeroever (Original title)
Nightmare On Left Bank (Alternative English title)

Year: 2008

Genre: Horror / Drama / Mystery

Language: Dutch

Runtime: 102 min

Director: Pieter Van Hees

Writer: Christophe Dirickx & Pieter Van Hees

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0940723/

Young athlete Marie collapses due to iron deficiency just before her biggest opportunity and have to stay home to rest instead. This is when she meets Bobby, a talented archer. The two become a pair and she moves in with him in his apartment over at Left Bank in Antwerp. She then finds out that the last tenant in that very apartment was a young girl that went missing. Marie starts to connect the dots between the disappearance and the strange things that are starting to happen around herself.

Our thoughts:
The first thing you will notice when you look up reviews on "Left Bank" is that it is being compared to "Rosemary's Baby". So much so that I had to re-visit the latter because I couldn't remember it being THAT similar. So I did. And I see the similarities more clearly now with "Rosemary's Baby" being fresh in my mind again. Although someone even went so far as to say that this is like a remake of it. That's bullshit, and very much so. "Rosemary's Baby" was such an early movie to handle the subject, it did it well and it's the most famous movie about it too. The odds of "Left Bank" being what it is hadn't it been for "Rosemary's Baby" are slim. But it's dangerous for a movie to have people throw around stupid remarks like that, especially when I don't think "Left Bank" shares that much when you finally watch it. It's easy to say it does on paper when you consider it has a woman moving into an apartment building with weird neighbors and having occult things happening.

When Marie, an athlete, moves into the apartment of her new boyfriend Bobby, she begins her rehabilitation to get back out on the running tracks again. A girl used to live in Bobby's apartment before him with her boyfriend, but suddenly disappeared without a trace. Marie starts investigating the disappearance and contacts the girl's boyfriend Dirk to return some things she found in the apartment, and the two of them start seeing each other frequently. Things take a turn for the worse when she falls and hurts her leg. Not only does she have to stay away from running for an even longer period of time because of it, but also her mind wanders off into places far from reality. Marie finds something on occult things in Left Bank from years ago and believe there is a connection between them and the girl that went missing.

"Left Bank" isn't at all hard to follow but something about the film is so surreal that it's not easy to know what really is going on. Sometimes it feels like a supernatural/occult film, sometimes it's psychological, and sometimes it works with the subject of body horror. It all comes full circle at the end.. Or does it, really? I think the movie managed to make it seem like it all worked well together, like it was planned out completely, but I also like to think there were some decisions to lure you into the nightmare. Stuff that weren't all relevent to the surrounding meaning of the movie, that maybe not even mattered, and that's fine. I do it myself in my work. I think it's fine to let the movie grow in different directions even outside of the territory. With a movie like this people won't know anyway since it never explains itself. Things that seem pointless to me could be clues that makes the overall meaning more detailed. Maybe it's good that I don't know, maybe I'd like the movie less if I did.

"Left Bank" takes things from all over the place. The atmosphere, the surreal moments, the surprisingly erotic sex scenes, the good acting, the finale and the visuals all make it a well-crafted movie. It's not a mainstream movie but it still works as a movie that any ol' horror fan could enjoy. It's very slow and the idea that the ending presents is a bit hard to grasp (if you care about details), that's something that I'm sure could put people off. People reading our website, however, are probably not scared of being challenged when watching a movie. There are far more challenging movies around, but this was a pleasant viewing for me because it was just enough to get my mind going when the end credits rolled. If it all made sense, I don't care. I'm rarely one to do detective work on movies. The experience I had with it was good, and director Pieter Van Hees shows a shitload of promise in the realms of horror movies.

Positive things:
- Mixes enough things to make the unoriginal parts feel original.
- Some creepy things going on with her body.
- Slow but with good atmosphere.
- Will work for mainstream viewers and Film Bizarro fans all the same.
Negative things:
- I'm not sure there are any things that I found to be negative. It wasn't all perfect but I'm not sure what I would change.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 3.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0/5

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