What’s it called?


What’s it about?

French high school pupils Soufiane, Luisa and Victor who form an unlikely alliance in order to find out who murdered Soufiane’s big brother Reda. Not that there’s anything as conventional as a body or a police investigation – all Soufiane knows is the Reda has been killed by someone and his soul left in a sort of purgatory (one in which you’re tied to trees and tortured). He learns this from Obé, a black clad demon with neon red eyes who pops up in the most unlikely places (Soufiane’s bedroom, the school toilets etc.) and demands a blood sacrifice for leading Soufiane to Reda’s killer and returning his soul. Oh, and along the way both Soufiane and Victor, who’s recovering from a suicide attempt, pick up some very useful special powers. Luisa, the third member of the trio, is a talented artist whose grandmother has a lucrative side hustle involving voodoo medicine.

Who’s in it?

A Netflix Original, Mortel stars Carl Malapa as Soufiane, Nemo Schiffman as Victor and Manon Bresch is Luisa. Obé is played by Corentin Fila, who made his film debut in 2016’s Being 17, by legendary French New Wave director André Téchiné.

What’s so good about it?

While the constituent parts are verging on the cliched – the high school setting, the mopey teen with emotional issues, the superhero powers and the red-eyed bad guy – Mortel is put together with just enough verve to keep it afloat. Yes it’s kind of dumb, but it’s kind of fun too.

Best bit …

Hard to say for certain that no chickens were harmed, but the scene involving a demonic possession and an animal sacrifice in grandma’s gaudily-decorated front room is a winner.

For fans of ...

MisFits, Heroes, La Haine, Stranger Things