Have I mentioned how much I love foreign films? I do, and The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou is a French horror film that is packed with surprises. There are things in this world that can’t be healed.
The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou
Dark Star Pictures and Vimeo present this horror film from France under the careful direction of Lucas Delangle. It stars Thomas Parigi, Edwige Blondiau, Lou Lampros, Romain Laguna, Herve, le pere d’Elsa, Georges Isnard, Sivan Garavagno, and Jean-Marc Ravera. The film begins with a young man, Jacky (Thomas Parigi) learning healing skills from his elderly grandmother Gisele (Edwige Blondiau). Everyone in the village comes to Gisele for healing for either themselves or their animals. Gisele is much loved in the village. She has raised her orphaned grandson after his parents were killed in a car accident.
Gisele is a very religious person, but her powers come from nature. She tells Jacky that he must purge himself after every healing. Gisele’s method of purging is by hugging a tree and eating raw liver. Jacky is interested in composing music, and hanging out with his friend, Mathieu (Romain Laguna), who is also a police officer. Jacky tries his hand at healing when he finds an injured bird in the forest, but his healing power is still in its infancy…although Jacky is able to control the musical instrument, the Theremin, without touching it.
One day, a man (Jean-Louis Coulloc’h) comes from the city to ask Gisele for help with his daughter, Elsa (Lou Lampros). The girl has a mysterious grey patch on her back. Try as she might, Gisele can not cure the girl, and she suspects that the man and his daughter are hiding a secret that is preventing any healing to take place. Jacky instantly falls for this girl. Elsa tells Jacky that the forest was creeping closer to her room and continuedly calling out to her. Is this where this rash came from?
Soon after his beloved grandmother dies, it falls on Jacky to try and heal this mysterious girl while the townsfolk deal with their sheep being attacked by a wolf.
The scenery of the French alps, the lush forests, the simplicity of life surrounding the village keeps the viewers mesmerized as this horror story slowing unfolds like a flower to reveal the true nature of Elsa. Most of the cast are first time actors, and it is this innocence that makes the story, or fairy tale, even more commanding of our full attention.
I did not expect to be swept off my feet by The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou, but I was. It is a great horror film. Sometimes, the best frights come from a gentle touch.