Sad to say that, before 2014, the HPL Film Festival didn’t release annual DVD compilations of the best films presented each year, but they did release a 2-volumn collection of the very best from the 1990s up to 2012.
This spooky and atmospheric 18-minute French film is one of my favorites on this first DVD.
Eric, who seems like a nice young man, arrives in Paris one evening to see his girlfriend. She’s not at home, so he phones her while standing outside the front door of her apartment. As he leaves a voice- message for her, he sees that she’s in the cafe across the street, on a date with another guy. She receives and rejects the message he just sent. There’s nothing for him to do but go home. Unfortunately, he misses the last train out that night.
While waiting on the empty station platform for the first train in the morning, he hears a voice from somewhere down the open dark tracks: “Aidez!” (Help me).
He first tries to tell the station guard about it, but the guard is seated in a booth behind thick glass with a faulty microphone, and thinks Eric wants a time table. No help there.
After hearing the voice a few more times, Eric investigates for himself. He leaves the platform and walks down the rail line.
When he calls out to the person to try and locate them, the voice responds–but it changes from the bleating plea for help we’ve been hearing to an inhuman wail so loud that Eric covers his ears and runs in terror.
At this point, we see who’s screaming (I don’t know if Eric does): A woman with some kind of glue-like gunk on her face that partially covers her mouth.
Eric takes refuge in a parked train engine, where he finds a homeless man who’s also hiding and seems to know what kind of creature he’s dealing with. “Shut your eyes and you’ll get away from her,” this man advises.
When Eric hears the shriek again, he leaves the engine and continues running. But instead of returning to the platform, he’s going the wrong way, away from the station. He ends up crossing a pedestrian footbridge and going through a tunnel; he’s trapped when he finds the other end of the passage is shut off by a locked chain-link gate.
It’s his turn to shout “Help me!” as she catches up with him.
As she comes closer to kiss him with her mucky mouth, Eric remembers what the other man said about shutting his eyes…
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