Saturday, 18 September 2010



This is ultimately a one-joke movie, and the one joke is in the one-word title: Poltergeist, with gays. Incredibly, it more or less works - not as a horror movie, but as a camp remake of Blithe Spirit (which is a film I have never liked), but in French and with more mincing.

The basic thrust of Poltergay is that young couple Marc and Emma (Clovis Cornillac, Julie Depardieu) move into a rambling country house, which happens to be haunted by the ghosts of five gay blokes who were killed in a freak electroction accident in the seventies. He can see them, but she can't: inevitably, emotional complications ensue. Can Marc win her back and get rid of the phantoms that are messing up his life? Why can Marc interact with the ghosts when Emma can't - why can her dad, yet Marc's best friend cannot? Could it be because Marc himself has homosexual desires as yet unexplored - and if so, what might he do about it?

It's a farce, it's riddled with naughty innuendo and camping about. But it actually gets away with it because throughout, it's not judgmental, not perjorative, not condemnatory. The gay characters aren't predatory or threatening: they're generally amusing and well meaning and while their antics might get wearing after a while, the ways in which they mess up Marc's life lead to how they fix everything. It's almost sweet, entirely inoffensive, sometimes quite funny and a lot better than the title might suggest. It's not great, but I quite liked it.


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