Amer is a 2009 Belgian-French horror/thriller film written and directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (The ABCs of Death ‘O is for Orgasm’; The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears). The film is a giallo in three parts and follows the sexual development of Ana who lives on the French Riviera. The film focuses on her oppressive teenage years leading to her womanhood.
In the first part, a young girl is at home as her grandfather dies and her grandmother begins performing a series of bizarre rituals designed to either bring him back to life or ease his passage to the next world; as this is happening, the girl becomes aware that her parents are making love elsewhere in the house.
Years later, a teenage girl goes into town with her mother to run some errands, comes face to face with the power of her sexuality, and learns how she can use her allure to change the behaviour of men.
In the final segment, an adult woman returns to the house where she grew up, which has fallen into disrepair…
“It’s the sort of film that can be watched repeatedly and intently to piece together the puzzle it represents, or just to let it wash over you as an audiovisual spectacle. It should even encourage its supporters to seek out the films it pays tribute to, either for a first time or to deepen the respect due to them. An exceptional debut.” David Graham, Eye For Film
“It’s super stylish and extremely silly. But for all its gloss and panache and giddying crash zooms to the keyhole, Amer is finally little more than a prolonged tease of a movie; provocation without a purpose.” Xan Brooks, The Guardian
“Amer is very much a work of passion, and though it is by no means only likely to be enjoyed by Giallo fans, the odd pacing and lack of conventional narrative logic may make it quite baffling for some. However, in these days of recycled genre product it stands proud as a gorgeously crafted and hypnotic original that will surely find its place as a true cult hit and as a real treat for all aficionados.” James Mudge, Beyond Hollywood
“Some may find the film a mite academic in its glassy deconstruction of genre convention, and it’s perhaps asking a bit much to read it as anything more than a claustrophobic portrait of sexual danger, but it still fulfils that highly specific brief with blood-splashed gusto.” David Jenkins, Time Out
“It’s stylish, terrifying and ironic to the extreme, a kaleidoscope of color and a sensory overload. But more importantly, this free-form exercise takes a form associated with masculine menace and uses it to explore how a woman feels to be scared, or aroused, or preyed upon.” Sam Zimmerman, Rolling Stone