When I caught filmmaker Eric Valette’s claustrophobic occult-themed prison flick Malefique at
Neal Moritz, producer of noisy and fast-moving entertainment, is now behind a remake of the film at
The original Malefique is set almost entirely in a single prison cell populated by a diverse quartet of convicts: a scholarly wife-killer who refuses to read, an aggressive mid-transsexual, a dim young boytoy who literally eats anything and everything, and a white-collar criminal whose main desire is to see his son again. When they discover a book of black magic hidden away by a former inmate, it becomes a trial-and-error process of figuring out how to use the tome to escape their cell.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Moritz’s movies on a base level and will be among the first to plunk down cash for a ticket to Stealth (even though I may have actually lost a few IQ points just from witnessing the trailer), but he doesn’t seem like a particularly good match for the material, a tense and paranoid and deliberately paced horror-thriller. Perhaps he’s just attempting to broaden his filmography beyond the smash-cut cacophony of vehicular flicks and the XXX “franchise”. Either that or he’s just figured out how to work submachineguns and street bikes into a prison movie.