night nine: trouble every day. [halloween movie fest, 2016.]

“You were in love with her?”
“It’s not the right word for it.”

This one is disturbing, even by HMF standards.

It’s a slow burn. A very quiet film with long spans shot with no dialogue, and characters who aren’t particularly verbose even when they do speak.

The muted quality makes the scenes of violence that much more jarring. The bloody scenes are themselves still somewhat muted, the camera forces us to watch when we’d rather get a cut or a new angle, anything to give us some distance from the ordinariness of the horror.

Even the film’s quietest scenes are full of menace and danger. The is a movie colored with tones of insanity, desire, isolation, compulsion, power, and violence.

Rape is usually a subtext in vampire stories. However a given mythology works in a particular vampire world, there is almost always the inclusion of the forcible and violent penetration of another against their will. Clare Denis captured that violence to horrifying effect in this film.

These are stories about killing someone for their blood. It’s not that Trouble Every Day is the only film where this inherent violence is dealt with head on, but it definitely got under my skin more than most others.


When the film came out it received a fair amount of hate. But while Trouble Every Day isn’t perfect, the reaction against it was undeserved. As with a film like Peeping Tom, the negative response might just underscore how intentionally troubling the film is. As years have passed, the film has found its audience and appreciators, making the recent Fandor list of 20 greatest films directed by women, based on responses from 50 critics and cinephiles.

Will I Ever Watch It Again? Give me some time to think about that. I’m not sure I can go back into this world again.