Trouble Every Day (2001)
By: Michael Helms on May 24, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Siren Visual Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. English Subtitles. 96 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Claire Denis
Starring: Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Beatrice Dalle, Alex Descas
Screenplay: Michel Parry
Music: Tindersticks
Country: France
Here's a challenge. Trouble Every Day (no relation to the Frank Zappa anti-racist track from 1966) is definitely more arthouse than outhouse and has a more contemplative pace than your resistance to sleep might allow but it's the world's first ode to sexual cannibalism and has no fear about getting down and biting where it hurts and leaving the viewer to clean up the mess.

The opening scene features a couple kissing in near darkness before a fade to black. Next comes a shot of Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue) obviously older but still sexy, getting out of a van for some sort of liason with a truck driver. Cut to night and a man's body is discovered in a paddock wearing little but his own congealing blood and a weird grin. Nearby, the man who turns out to be a doctor, finds a cowering Dalle with blood all over her mouth and quickly removes her from the scene that's now attracting the authorities. Meanwhile, a couple (Gallo and Vessey) are jetting into Paris for a honeymoon and unbeknownst to his new wife, the answers to some serious questions. Gallo dreams of a woman soaked in blood. Back at the house the doctor shares with Dalle, he carefully locks her up as he leaves for the day. Two young guys observing from across the road immediately attempt to break in. Dalle discovers an electric jigsaw under her bed. Simultaneously, Gallo and wife are checking into their hotel as another story strand is picked up of a hotel maid knocking off general hotel smallgoods. Back in the hotel room a long pan of Vessey reclining in the bath comes to rest on a bite mark on her shoulder. Gallo is in the next room making an urgent phone call in an unsuccessful attempt to contact a doctor. Then it's back to Dalle who's cut her way out of her prison and indulged in a little playtime with her two new playpals. The doctor soon arrives home and not dismayed at the scene begins to dig a hole.

And so, Trouble Every Day continues along almost languidly as it teases out the story of a medical experiment gone massively awry and one man's attempts several years later to redress the situation or at least get some answers to the problems that dog him and rule his life on a continual daily basis. While as many questions are thrown up as answered Trouble Every Day also spills more body fluids and removes more body parts in the course of it's running time than even the most hardcore horror film. And much of the grue ends up on/inside Beatrice Dalle.
Video
The transfer of Trouble Every Day superbly reproduces the dark tones that this film relies on to relate it's sombre story. A more realistic reproduction of clotting plasma you're unlikely to witness.
Audio
The soft blues jazz score and attendant use of low-key sound effects don't really make the best use of a surround mix but this is obviously not the filmmaker's intention which is to create an ongoing atmosphere that is sad rather than shocking.
Extra Features
None.
The Verdict
By no stretch of the imagination is Trouble Every Day a standard horror film. It's actually a film that creates it's own standards on a subject that few horror films have even hinted at. Although it doesn't shy from revealing it's graphic nature the effect of watching it can be retroactive like bathing in warm silt and then discovering many days later that you still have some of that dirt under your fingernails. In short, Trouble Every Day is a cinematic experience that many viewers will find troubling and that's why I completely recommended it.
Movie Score
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