Titane is a French horror movie that shattered my expectations. I found it scrolling through Hulu for a good international movie. I am a sucker for any foreign movie because of the innovation and original ideas coming from overseas.
Titane grabs your attention from the very beginning–with a car crash that ends in the main character having her skull melded with the steel of the car, hence the name Titane. If you are disturbed by horror movies like my wife, who could only get through the first act, you won’t last long in this one. Whoever had the idea for this film combined a bunch of stories together. Including one of my favorites, Christine, by Stephen King. Just the pure imagination involved defies my psyche.
The main character doesn’t speak much but when she does, you are hanging on to every word. Is it because she is part machine and calculating every move? I was never able to differentiate if her psyche was created by her environment or the car crash that damaged that emotional side of her brain–or if she just doesn’t feel comfortable interacting with other humans. Titane didn’t have many spoken lines, but the ones heard were powerful.
The writer has woven a metaphor between man and machine throughout the entire movie which is, are we thinking machines? Or is there an emotional base to our consciousness? I believe that emotions still rule most of our consciousness, it is hard to overcome shame, fear, and anger.
The movie has no heroes, no villains, only humans that sometimes do bad things. No superheroes, no super powers, no magic. Just a human obsession with tools and machines. And what happens when accidents turn into life-changing events?
Fast forward to our main character working nights as a seductive car model. From here it takes a dark turn when a man approaches her after a show. Just when you think it is about one thing, it pivots into something else. This uncertainty made it even more exciting for me. I’d already lost my wife and there was no getting her back to the movie, but it gets better and it becomes a father/daughter/son story.
In the second part of the movie you meet a father who lost his son in a fire. He mistakes, or wants to believe, that our main character is his long-lost son even though she’s female. He is an aging fireman who introduces the main character to his “crew.” What engrossed me about the character is how far he will go to continue to live the lie. Or does he know it’s a lie and continue anyway?
I don’t want to give away more spoilers, but if you stick with it, it will disturb you for at least a month. I had trouble believing her as a boy towards the end, but that was my only complaint. I had a visceral experience with some of the scenes and had to turn away. I dare you to watch the trailer and not load the movie.
Just as a warning, you will be affected in some way by this movie, it’s just a question of when in the movie that will happen. Titane will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s graphic, violent, and disturbing. What else can you ask for in a good horror flick?