Crimson Rivers (Mathieu Kassovitz – 2000) B+

I don’t know why I was looking forward to seeing this film. Possibly due to a long-forgotten good review I’ve read about it years ago. In any case, this is a solid suspenseful thriller with good acting and fantastic setting. The plot is certainly far-fetched but this movie is all mood and dread. It is set in an isolated town in the French Alps. It’s cold, dark, wet and just bleak. It might be a beautiful setting normally but the director does a great job in draining all the “brightness” from it in a good way. Central to the plot is the isolated university in the town where its cavernous library has to be the most creepy library in film. We have two cops whose separate cases converge on the aforementioned university, its staff, students and all their secrets. It all works very well minus a weird martial arts scene in the middle of it all that struck me as just odd and somehow cheapened the movie a bit. Good thing the film recovers quickly with an amazing sequence that has a two characters repelling down a crazy steep ledge in the middle of the snow and ice.


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