Shudders and telekinesis in De Van’s Dark Touch
by Fabien Lemercier
29/11/2011 - At the end of next January, the six-week shoot will start on the French/Irish/Swedish co-production Dark Touch by Marina De Van (pictured). For this nail-biting horror film, the director has cast in the lead roles some young Irish children joined by a few local professional actors. This will mark the fourth feature by the original French director, after In My Skin [trailer] (2002), Don’t Look Back [trailer] (midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival 2009) and TV drama Hop-o’-My-Thumb (Horizons section at the Venice Mostra 2011).
Scripted by De Van (who was nominated for the Best Screenplay César 2003 for 8 Women [trailer]), Dark Touch opens one evening, in the middle of the countryside in an isolated house that comes to life, as if gripped by madness: objects and furniture fly into a rage against the inhabitants. Eleven-year-old Niamh is the only survivor of the bloody carnage caused by the furniture: her parents and her little brother are dead.
The police suspect a gang of killers and vandals and they ignore the account given by Niamh who reveals the murderous rage of the place and objects. She is temporarily taken in by Nat and Lucas, friends of her parents, who try hard to calm her trauma by surrounding her with love and organising a normal life and education for her with the help of the local social worker.
But Niamh doesn’t calm down, quite the contrary… Around her, the signs of danger continue to appear, and the place remains invested with a hidden violence, which will soon break out again and create fresh carnage, and more victims…
Produced by Patrick Sobelman for Paris-based Ex Nihilo, Dark Touch is 36% co-produced by Ireland (via Element Pictures) and 12% by Sweden (Filmgate). Backed by Eurimages to the tune of €390,000, the film has also been pre-bought by Canal + and Ciné+.
Shooting will take place in Ireland over three weeks for the outdoor location shots and in Sweden for the same amount of time for the indoor shots. French distribution is still under negotiation, while international sales will be handled by Wild Bunch.
Through Agat Films, Sobelman also has in post-production Belgian director Lucas Belvaux’s 38 Témoins (formerly known as One Night - see news), starring Yvan Attal (distribution in France: Diaphana); and Brigitte Rouän’s French/Greek co-production Tu Honoreras Ta Mère et Ta Mère (see news - distribution in France: Ad Vitam). The French producer has also just shot, in secret, French/US/Icelandic director Solveig Anspach’s Queen of Montreuil.
(Translated from French)