Trouble Every Day


Director: Claire Denis

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A unique & gory horror film from a French director better known for art-house & film-festival movies, Trouble Every Day is not quite a great film because the plot elements weren't worked out convincingly enough. But the mere idea of a gory film from an art-house director is something to ponder, & rewarding to see.

On the negative side, the weak plot elements: A doctor keeps his psycho-killer cannibal wife locked in the upstairs room. But he is so stupid about controlling her liberty to kill that she escapes every single day to kill again & again. He's not otherwise totally retardo, so it's hard to believe he couldn't even for one day live up to his responsibility. Plus the thin plot ultimately goes nowhere.

Plot weaknesses aside, there is nevertheless a mesmerizing quality about the art-house foreign-film pacing & quality acting, mixed with cannibalistic sex, such as renders this film entertainingly disorienting.

The psycho doctor's wife is played by Beatrice Dalle with unrestrained grossness. She's a unique beauty with a gorgeous mouth & classic profile, who can be seen in other French films turning in "normal" sensual performances that have made her something of a sex symbol in European cinema. It is so amazing to see her so happily covered in blood chowing down on human flesh.

The experimental sexual enhancement drug with the unforeseen side-effect of causing sexual cannibalism has also been taken by one of the research doctor's past cohorts, played by American character actor Vincent Gallo (something of an independent-film god since his amazing performance opposite independent film goddess Christina Ricci in Buffalo 66). Unfortunately this is not one of Gallo's better performances; the film belongs wholly to Beatrice Dalle.

Gallo as Shane, as the film opens, has managed to keep a lid on his desire to cannibalize his young bride, mainly by running in the bathroom to wack off noisily instead of finishing any sex act with her, which is pretty hard on the confused young woman's ego. As Gallo comes closer to losing control, he is also coming closer to a reunion with Dalle's character, such as will end in conflagration.

There are so many exploitation images & methods coopted by the director that I would think anyone fond of cheezy horror would love this thing, & even the plotting lapses are nothing unexpected by slasher fans. I suppose the few arthouse independent tricks of the film may be offputting to a few who want faster pacing, but the majority will probably be glad to see the genre treated with a slight degree of seriousness.

As for the arthouse crowd, I would imagine they'd be more confused by what Claire Denis has undertaken. If the given arthouse filmgoers never liked gore films, this one won't change their minds, because it is very gory. For the minority who love both cheezy horror & arthouse flicks, Trouble Every Day is going to be massively fulfilling to view.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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