A murder detective must follow the footsteps of a brutal killer within the secrets of a classist college.

Director:

Mathieu Kassovitz

Writers:

Jean-Christophe Grangé (novel), Jean-Christophe Grangé (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Reno ... Pierre Niemans
Vincent Cassel ... Max Kerkerian
Nadia Farès ... Fanny Ferreira / Judith Herault (as Nadia Fares)
Dominique Sanda ... Sister Andrée
Karim Belkhadra ... Captain Dahmane
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Dr. Bernard Chernezé
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... The Dean
François Levantal François Levantal ... Pathologist
Francine Bergé Francine Bergé ... Headmistress
Philippe Nahon ... Man at Petrol Station
Laurent Lafitte ... Hubert, the Dean's Son
Robert Gendreu Robert Gendreu ... Cemetery Warden
Christophe Bernard Christophe Bernard ... Skinhead #1
Nicky Naudé ... Skinhead #2 (as Nicky Naude)
Tonio Descanvelle Tonio Descanvelle ... Sarzac Policeman #1
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Storyline

Parisian murder detective commissioner Pierre Niemans is called to Guernon, a self-sufficient, prestigious university in a mountain valley, to investigate the murder on 32-year old professor and librarian Rémy Caillois, whose corpse was found 50 meters high on a steep mountain side, naked, horribly covered in bruises and bleeding wounds, the result of some five hours of bestial torture including quasi-surgical amputation of hands cauterized to prevent bleeding to death- and eyes. Guernon is a closed society of virtually incestuous scientists, de facto succeeding to their parents' posts; the eye-doctor, formerly on the staff, says hereditary genetic diseases are the price of such elitism, but in recent years spread to the simple farming families. Inspector Max Kerkerian examines two crimes in the town: a school break-in with theft of old photos and archive papers as well as a graveyard desecration of Judith Herault, the daughter of local nun Andrée, who lives in a dark cell since 15 ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil rises to new heights.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/grisly images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mathieu Kassovitz: as the hooded killer who shoots at Jean Reno at the bottom of the stairwell in the house on stilts. His voice is also heard over the CB radio talking to Vincent Cassel. See more »

Goofs

About 25 minutes into the movie, when Pierre takes a long walk to the Library/Dean's Office, two joggers in university sweatshirts pass him. A few seconds later, the same two joggers emerge from a building about 50 meters away and run towards him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Dahmane: We'll touch base in two hours.
Policeman: Which way do we go?
Captain Dahmane: There. Okay? See you later, guys.
[looks at Niemans]
Captain Dahmane: Can I help you?
Pierre Niemans: Got a light?
Captain Dahmane: Who let you through?
Pierre Niemans: Your men. Commissioner Pierre Niemans.
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Crazy Credits

FAKE PIT BULL.......................PLASTIC STUDIOS See more »

Connections

Referenced in Insomnia (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Virtual Skinfighters
Composed and Performed by David Salsedo, Stéphane Daurs (as Stephane Daurs)
[Performed by] Silmarils
(c) 2000 Editions Musicales Editions La Marguerite - Legende Enterprises
(p) 2000 Production Legende Enterprises - Gaumont
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User Reviews

 
Solid and compelling French thriller
27 September 2005 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

The novel by Jean-Cristophe Grangè on which this film is based is simply one of the best thrillers ever written,in the same league as The Silence of the Lambs and Misery,and with the help of writer/director Mathieu Kassovitz(who was also supposed to be one of the actors)the author has successfully brought his masterpiece to the screen.

From the very beginning,thanks to the location and Bruno Coulais'unsettling score,we realize French people can make good horror thrillers: Pierre Niemans(Jean Reno) is in Grenoble to solve a couple of weird and brutal murders,while Max Kerkerian(Vincent Cassel)investigates a damaged tomb somewhere else. Soon they discover the two cases are connected,and the two men have to run against the clock in order to uncover the awful truth about what's been going on in the local university for years.

The book has been simplified(the first chapter is entirely missing,as well as some of the details about Cassel's case),but the movie manages to be very interesting,and the chemistry between Reno and Cassel is great.

Special praise for Dominique Sanda,her creepy cameo being the film's best sequence(Sissy Spacek appears in a similar scene in The Ring 2).

Only defect:why did they make the sequel?


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

13 July 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimson Rivers See more »

Filming Locations:

Albertville, Savoie, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$111,026, 28 January 2001

Gross USA:

$594,966

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,103,680
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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