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The latest film, Megalomaniac, by the Belgian filmmaker Karim Ouelhaj deals with Martha and Félix, who are two grown-up children of the Butcher of Mons, a known Belgian serial killer that murdered five women during the 90s. In his adulthood Felix has become a murderer like his father before him while on her own part Martha has been introvert and deranged from years of trauma inflicted on her by those around her.

Also written by Ouelhaj himself, the film stars Eline Schumacher as Martha and Benjamin Ramon as Felix. Also appearing in it are Wim Willaert, Pierre Nisse, and Hélène Moor.

Moreover, Megalomaniac has already received several awards including Best Film and Outstanding Performance (Schumacher) at Fantasia Film Festival held in 2022 among others such as Best Performance (Schumacher) at Brooklyn Horror Festival. The movie premiered in select cinemas on September 8th , 2023 while being available for online rental from September 26th . As long as you can stand it’s worth your time.

Megalomaniac not only focuses on the obvious hereditary and taught aspects from serial killer to son but also the cyclical trauma that takes place for Martha being raised and surrounded by men who routinely abduct sexually assault and murder women. By this point however it is quite clear that she exhibited signs of severe mental illness which is further compounded when she gets violently raped at work by her co-worker so she becomes pregnant staying with her brother who continues killing people serially even though she encourages him more.

Martha has spent her entire life being beaten down, put down upon or abused. Afterwards though following up on what happened to her after having been violated shows that no woman should have anymore power over another woman than she can handle herself by treating them in kind. There aren’t many movies that can deliver a metaphorical or traumatic punch quite like this one.

For example, the movie has some really intense and brutal scenes featuring sexual assault, incestuous relationships, torture and murder. This is not for weak ones and it could be equated (but not as long as) to other such gory films like Henry: A Portrait of a Serial Killer or I Spit on Your Grave. The film is downright creepy at times let alone incredibly realistic.

The dark cinematography, the set design and lighting in Megalomaniac are just amazing. François Schmitt, the movie’s cinematographer did an excellent job in creating the gloomy atmosphere around both main characters but also their house has become a reflection of each one of them. It was damp and dingy inside – cold and empty – slowly rotting from within.

In fact, the photography had no warmth in order to be coherent with the approach of this movie. Most colors were mostly black, light gray and dull red to bring out blood splashes all over Félix’s victims’ bodies throughout his home.

It’s during these scenes that acted as metaphors where you can truly see how she lost her mind because of a thick mud she was sinking into or when their fears became palpable to them by taking shape into a watchful demon in their house; It never fails either due to its presentation in these moments wherein viewers are reminded there is no supernatural element at play here; it makes clear whose perspective any given scene or moment falls under.

Ending on a cruel note, the last part of the movie is both satisfying and disturbing because some particular characters get their due while others carry on with their innate mental disorders and ruined lives.

Eline Schumacher and Benjamin Ramon are simply amazing in this film and it’s not surprising that the former has already won a few accolades for her work. The couple works of each other perfectly, as they undergo similar circumstances but their outcomes are distinct. It is a tragic insight into how the same traumatic event can affect people differently.

Megalomaniac just might be one of the best serial killer films from the past ten years, if you are ok with some very graphic gore as well as horrific sexual and physical violence then you have to see this beautiful, savage metaphorical movie.

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