By: John Duarte
Where do I even begin with TITANE? First off, I’m a fan of director Julia Ducournau, and what she brought to the table the last time around with Raw. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to know what she’s going to cook up next.
Then, I found out she had won the Palme D’or at the Canne Film Festival for
TITANE. Also, I have to point out that she’s the second woman to win the
Palme D’or, and the rare time a horror movie has won that award. Once I read what the plot was about, I knew this movie was up my alley.
The plot follows Alexia, who, as a little girl, was severely injured in a car crash and consequently has a Titanium plate fitted into her head. When she gets out of the hospital, she shuns her parents, and kisses their car passionately. Years later, she grows up and now works as a showgirl at a motor show. One night, the car she was dancing on top of starts revving up magically by itself. She gets inside the
car, and has sex with the vehicle. The next day, she finds out she’s pregnant.
Now... I know what you're thinking. Is there more to this movie than that?
Yes, in fact, a lot more. I might even go into spoiler territory for the first time ever. I’ll try not to give too much away, but *SPOILER WARNING*.
So Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) is also a serial killer who has murdered several men and women the past few months. After a night of passionate love-making with
one of the showgirls she dances with, she murders her, and the rest of the
people around the house. By the end of the scene, it gets pretty comedic.
She runs back home, and realizes her dad knows she’s the killer. So later
that night, Alexia burns her house down and runs from the law.
Now wanted for murder, Alexia chances her appearance by shaving her
head, taping down her breasts and (quite possibly the moment I cringed),
breaking her own nose. She then goes to the police, pretending to be a
young boy who disappeared ten years before, at age seven, named Adrien.
Adrien's father, Vincent (Vincent Lindon), recognizes Alexia as his missing
son, and refuses to do a DNA test. So now throughout the rest of the movie, Alexia can’t speak or Vincent will figure out the truth. That’s all I’ll really get into without spoiling the rest of the movie.
First and foremost, let me just say, I loved TITANE. This is a fantastic follow-up to the director's last movie, Raw. Just like Raw, TITANE has fascinating characters that keep you guessing, so you have no idea how their story is going to end. The scenes between Alexia and Vincent were frustrating, heartbreaking, and sometimes terrifying. The more we learn about Vincent, the sadder it gets.
TITANE is definitely a horror movie with great body horror elements, and cringeworthy moments, like the nose-breaking scene. TITANE is beautifully shot, the soundtrack has some banging songs, and the score by Jim Williams is amazing as well. It’s weird that two movies in the past two years about women making love with big mechanical objects (also, 2020 French movie Jumbo) have been so beautifully made. I consider them my favorite movies of the past two years.
With that said, TITANE is one of my favorite movies of 2021. My eyes
were glued to the screen from the beginning until the (very) satisfying ending.
I’d love to watch this movie with an audience, and hear their reaction to
some of the wild moments. By the time this review comes out, TITANE will
have its west coast premiere at Beyond Fest, and that crowd is going to eat
this movie up. So please, do yourselves a favor, and go check TITANE out
with an audience, and be sure to bring a can of lube for the car ride home.
TITANE, from NEON, will hit theaters October 1st.