London Film Festival: Inexorable (2021)

Director: Fabrice du Welz

Running Time: 98 Minutes

Certificate: 18

Starring: Benoît Poelvoorde, Alba Gaïa Bellugi, Mélanie Doutey

Relocating to an old family mansion with his wife and child, novelist Marcel (Benoît Poelvoorde) searches for inspiration and the space to work on his latest book. Using his father-in-law's office to write, Marcel feels like a usurper as the pressure bears down on him to live up to 'Inexorable', the former bestseller which made his career.

Life appears to be falling into place when the family employs a young housekeeper named Gloria (Alba Gaïa Bellugi), who immediately bonds with the family daughter and her dog. Despite her charming appearances, Gloria sows the seeds of doubt within the family, causing dissent with underhanded schemes. As her obsession with Marcel's work becomes more apparent, it's clear Gloria's appearance is no coincidence.

Working off a screenplay co-written with Joséphine Darcy Hopkins and Aurélien Molas, director Fabrice du Welz attempts a throwback to sleazy erotic-thrillers which balances beauty and brutality. Instead, the filmmaker delivers a patience-testing thriller with acting that feels too over-the-top for a story this pretentious. While there's many sights to admire, particularly the spinning shots of staircases, this can only take viewers so far when there's no characters worth investing in.

Despite only lasting 98-minutes, the lean runtime feels at odds with the plodding pace, while a third act tonal jump feels all too sudden. By the ending, one wonders if something was cut-out to enlighten viewers as to the point of it all. Nothing seems gained from this experience, just people making each other miserable in a nice location without much intrigue.

Inexorable played at London Film Festival