Vinyan

2008

Vinyan

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

53%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

32%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,790
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Vinyan Photos

Movie Info

Parents looking for a missing child are led into a strange and dangerous netherworld in this thriller. Jeanne (Emmanuelle Beart) and Paul (Rufus Sewell) are a wealthy couple who were in Thailand helping to establish an orphanage when the 2005 tsunami leveled the island. Jeanne and Paul had a young son who disappeared in the storm, and since his body has never been found, Jeanne holds out hope that he might still be alive, a hope that becomes a desperate concern when she sees a video of children being held by kidnappers in Burma which shows a child who looks like her boy. Eager to find out the truth, Paul pays a hefty fee to local outlaw Mr. Gao (Petch Osathanugrah) to escort him and Jeanne into a forbidden zone known only to Thailand's criminal underclass near the Burmese border. Jeanne and Paul soon find themselves out of their depth in a strange land they do not understand where dangerous men commune with the spirits of the dead. The first English language project from writer and director Fabrice du Welz, Vinyan was an official selection at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.

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Cast

Critic Reviews for Vinyan

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

  • A menacing pseudo-horror thriller with arty aspirations.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Du Welz never manages to generate enough menace - this is no Apocalypse Now.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Andrew Pulver

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Without resorting to cheap frights or bogeymen, Vinyan locates its horror in the human heart of darkness.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 5/5
  • A dark and pessimistic drama which goes slap-happily mad towards the end but keeps you watching all the same.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • Horrific and harrowing but the narrative arc could leave the audience unmoved.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A remorselessly grim but deeply affecting psychological horror that's likely to bitterly divide its audience. Not for the faint-hearted, Vinyan is a pitch-black, poetic exploration of the nightmare of losing a child.

    Oct 4, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vinyan

  • Aug 28, 2012
    'Vinyan' is a striking yet aimless film that fails to engage. The film charts Paul and Jeanne's search for their missing son after witnessing footage that leads them, Jeanne particularly, to believe that he is alive somewhere in the Burmese wilderness. Their son had gone missing during the 2004 Asian tsunami; however the film doesn't detail any of the event, which doesn't help in making the viewer care at all about the whole premise. Jeanne is somehow adamant that her son is alive, based on brief, bad quality footage. Indeed, Jeanne is unfortunately one of those irrational, hysterical, self-centred women that make films of this ilk rather irritating to watch. She regularly begins to feel sorry for herself, so much so that the task of walking across a muddy landscape is just too much for her and she starts falling over, clearly on purpose, to let her husband know just how discontented she is. Jeanne and her silicone injected lips lace the film with aggravation. Paul, who is going through this traumatic experience just as much as Jeanne, is measured and sensible, but he is still not a character one feels inclined to empathise with at any moment, apart from when his wife is being a pain in the arse, perhaps. I didn't care for their cause at all; the whole thing was a lingering shot of rain, landscapes and tribal children. At times the film was slightly creepy, but that was the extent of its power; considering I watched this film as part of the 'Fright Fest' season, that's quite a major flaw. Not only does this film not work as a horror, it doesn't work on any other level either. Due to its utter vacuity, there isnâ(TM)t much to say apart from that it is Art House nonsense - all visuals and no narrative.
    Jack H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2012
    ** out of **** "Vinyan" has been marketed as a horror film; which is no surprise, given that the director behind it is Fabrice Du Welz. If you haven't seen a little movie known as "Calvaire", then that name means nothing to you; but if you have, well then, there you go. Anyways, "Vinyan" is not so much a horror film but more-so a drama with a few disturbing, haunting, creepy, horrific moments that apparently sell it off as belonging into that genre. The marketing boys responsible for this one should be put out of the job. But that's just a pet peeve; and it merely kicks off the decently-sized list of them that I have surrounding Welz's second feature film. I think it would be best to start out by saying a few words: I respect this film, and having seen it, I still can say that I respect Welz for making it. But that's not to say that I particularly liked it. This is the kind of film where it revels in simplicity; yet it has some sort of deeper agenda on its mind that never comes full circle. In my opinion, any film remotely like that is a disappointment any day; and disappointing certainly comes to mind when I think of this film, even if it's only been a few dozen minutes after finishing it. A lot went wrong with the film. The action is set to the beautiful back-drop of Thailand and its island regions; which makes for some excellent scenery/eye-candy. I'm fine with that; but what I'm not fine with is the story. A couple is grieving after having lost their son to a tsunami that hit the said country. It left many dead; and their child's body was never found. This gives them some hope; although they've been merely hoping for some time now, and they'd like nothing more than to have their little boy back with them again. Their belief in their child's survival is given extreme support when the wife in this couple notices a young boy - in a video shown at some art convention or something that the two protagonists attend - that closely resembles their very own. Determined to find out the truth, both husband and wife travel to the islands of Thailand - which are heavily populated by criminals and underdeveloped tribes of primitive humans - where they shall attempt to find their kid. I said I have problems with the film; and I do. The most I can say about my general distaste for the plot is that in spite of the intriguing set-up - which somehow throws mysticism and horror tropes into the mix - there's still a general sense of pure boredom. I didn't care about these characters, and therefore I kept searching for alternative reasons to give a shit about this half-assed narrative; finding no positive results. By the end; I was pissed, tired, exhausted, dazed, confused, and greatly let down. I have no doubt that a few curious movie-goers will find "Vinyan" to be intriguing and thoroughly entertaining. I wish I could have felt the same about it, and given the appeal that Welz's previous feature had with me; I was expecting something a little more, I don't know, conclusive and satisfactory than this. If anything, the film is a solid approximation of what happens to most films when their maker decides to go all un-conventional and blend art-house aspirations with elements not commonly found in such films. There's plenty about "Vinyan" that is indeed artsy - fantastic cinematography, beautiful locations, and solid performances - but little that is engaging or memorable. I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid it; nor would I tell most to see it. Perhaps it depends on your tolerance for poorly-marketed, somewhat contrived pieces of cinema. But when it comes to me and this film, there is no problem; only minor nitpicks, which is enough to turn my head in the other direction. Fortunately, I'll be able to move on; and with pleasure.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2010
    <i>Vinyan</i> details the dreamlike - make that nightmarish - search by a couple living in Thailand for their missing son into the jungles of Burma. Their slow boat journey up remote waterways starts as <i>Apocalypse Now</i> and ends in an encampment of wild children which could be called <i>Lord of the Thais.</i> As a narrative, <i>Vinyan</i> has little depth. Emmanuelle Béart is stubbornly resolute as Jeanne, convinced her son is still alive, whereas Rufus Sewell as Paul vacillates between supportive husband and grim realist. They argue. They search. They argue. They search. And that's about it, which leaves the intended shocking/surprising ending with no foundation to crumble. Lots of sights and sounds fill the screen with intent to disorient and not everything happens in reality. Unfortunately, the film doesn't work as a sustained sensory nor experimental experience either. There are a few scattered eye-opening moments, like a mysterious opening title sequence that makes sense later on, a spirit ceremony with large floating lantern balloons, and an incredible dilapidated wood & brick jungle palace. Most of the time, however, all we are doing is watching Jeanne and Paul slog through mud, rain, overgrowth, and undergrowth. This location shoot must have been very difficult for the actors, after a week's filming I would've been on the phone chewing out my agent, "What have you gotten me into?!??!" I was feeling more sorry for the actors' plight than the characters', which is a sure-fire sign that your movie is not working.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2010
    Think 'Don't Look Now' crossed with 'Lord of the Flies' but with characters drawn with such extreme bourgeois naivety that it's impossible to elicit the slightest sympathy for (precursors to the punchable leads of von Trier's 'Antichrist' for sure). The longueurs would be fine and cinematic if we liked or empathised with these people - I would have been quite thrilled by the slightly abstract, lingering close-ups of Sewell and Béart if the overwhelming urge wasn't to slap some sense into them. However it's still a very intriguing tease that gets so under the skin that it's hard to shake off too thoroughly without shuddering. Seared with some genuinely sinister and gothic sequences - horrid dream sequences that blur the line between what's real and imagined/dreaded, a vile dirty jungle so reeking of death and decay that you wonder why anyone would think anything living could be found there - it's not till it's over that, apart from humans, you realise we haven't encountered a single living beast or insect. It's nothing less than a descent into Hell of course. And the totally over the top, completely bonkers finale suddenly makes things worth the effort. Horrific, beautiful, disgusting and disturbing all at once. I would have laughed my tits off at it's final shots if I wasn't more than a little terrified.
    William S Super Reviewer

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