Megalomaniac (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Megalomaniac (2022) Review

Horrorific content by angie on August 01st, 2022 | Movie Review | Female Revenge, Killer, Psychological, Madness, Thriller, Serial Killer, Revenge, Gore, Extreme, Torture, Splatter

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It's about the daughter of an infamous serial killer who is bullied and assaulted one too many times.

Megalomaniac was directed by Karim Ouelhaj and stars Eline SchumacherBenjamin Ramon (Yummy), Wim WillaertPierre NisseRaphaëlle LubansuQuentin LasbazeillesOlivier Picard, and Catherine Jandrain.

Megalomaniac (2022) Review

The Butcher of Mons was a nickname given to a famous serial killer in Mons, Belgium, who left bags of dismembered women along roadsides. However, in 1997, these discoveries stopped, and the killer's identity remains unknown. The movie "Megalomaniac" is about said serial killer and his offspring. The film is very offensive and horrifies people. It makes people reflect on society. It's both exciting and unpleasant to watch.

Megalomaniac begins with a birthing scene that, at first glance, could be mistaken for a set of violence and torture. A woman covered in blood screams in rage and agony, her eyes red from the strain, while the Butcher and his older child await their new family member. Martha and Felix are adult siblings living by themselves in a large but run-down Gothic mansion. Felix devotes himself entirely to imitating his father's actions and behavior, while the shy Martha works nights as a janitor at a factory. However, their unconventional lifestyle falls apart when Martha is subjected to a series of horrific attacks at work.

Filmmaker Karim Ouelhaj juxtaposes despairing, gore-filled horror with a psychological exploration of Martha's deterioration. The movie opens with Martha as a beaten-down, self-loathing woman who craves love and stability. Her more assertive brother dominates her, barely talks at work, and has disturbed dreams of evil beings that often carry over into her conscious life. Factory workers Luc, L'ouvrier, and Jerome's constant torment of Martha tips her grip on reality which is already precarious.

Ouelhaj fixates on the visages of the aggressors, target, and the enablers in Martha's savage beatings, recorded with little sound to heighten the unsettling sensation. Rather than revenge, Martha looks for support in the idea of family, resulting in a much different and monstrous way of obtaining it. It's a story about a woman raised by a man who killed women. It's about how that experience has distorted her view of the world.

Martha's story is presented with a lot of contrast between light and dark. This emphasizes the inner conflict Martha is experiencing, as well as the sense that things may not be as they seem. Francois Schmitt's dark, alluring cinematography, Gary Moonboot, and Simon Fransquet's score create a nightmarish yet captivating atmosphere that amplifies the brutal horror on display.

It helps to mute the horrible things that make us feel sorry for a character who is likely to do condemnable actions. Schumacher's portrayal of Martha is fantastic; the skilled changes in personality keep us guessing while making us feel invested in her orbit. As the lines between good and evil become blurred, the more horrific and nightmarish the fantasy becomes, until a final climax with no clear answers.

Worth Watching? 

Megalomaniac is an exciting film that provokes discussion. Ouelhaj doesn't spoon-feed the audience and allows them to interpret Martha's story for themselves. It's relentless in its brutality to Martha and the film's many victims. Morality exists in a murky area, causing sympathy for an otherwise vile creature; even the title is something to examine. Ouelhaj's work can be seen as a criticism of the patriarchy, focusing on a real-life unsolved crime. While it may be too complex or abstract for some viewers, those willing to engage with the film will find it a challenging and profoundly unsettling experience.

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