Writer/Director: Julia Ducournau
Body Horror/ Mystery/Thriller, French
What It's About
In Titane, Alexia is an emotionally disturbed child who grows into an emotionally unhinged adult. After suffering a car accident as a child, a titanium plate is fitted into Alexia’s skull. After the surgery, she rejects her parents and forges an unhealthy relationship with the car that almost killed her. There are heavy tones of mechaphilia in this film, which is where one has an intimate, sexual relationship with a mechanical item such as a car or another type of machine. This obsession leads Alexia down a bizarre and dark path.
What I Thought
I loved it. This was one of the most unique movies I’ve ever seen. The premise may sound bizarre but the movie really delivers, and frankly, I can’t stop thinking about it. Agathe Rousselle (Alexia) was captivating. She starts off as a model/dancer; auto shows are her specialty. She’s a seductive and dangerous loner. She sports a tattoo between her breasts that reads, “Love is a Dog From Hell.” This leads the viewer to understand that no one really gets close to Alexia. She’s emotionally detached and compulsive, both sexually and violently. Prone to brutal outbursts and leaving a trail of bodies in her wake, Alexia alters her appearance and picks up a new name going on the run. She assumes the identity of a boy who’s been missing for 20 years. The boy’s father, Vincent (Vincent London), overcome with grief and emotional problems of his own, accepts Alexia as his long lost son. The two form a bond offering Alexia the unconditional love and care she never experienced as a child. Will she be able to change? Will Vincent still accept her even when he learns the truth? Alexia is hiding a big secret and her body is going through unforeseen physical changes because of it. How long can she keep it up?
The body horror aspect isn’t just about the extreme murders she commits, it’s also about the physical changes Alexia endures, which mirror the emotional changes and growth she’s experiencing. Even though the movie is pretty gory in parts it serves the story. It’s not gore for gore’s sake. I find Ducournau (Raw 2016) exceptional in the body horror genre because she takes the approach of focusing on the character rather than the gore. It’s really about how the character is coping with horrific and often shocking changes.
The movie was so well rounded. It truly had everything you’re looking for in a horror movie. A solid unique story that flows well, impeccable acting, haunting imagery, disturbing scenes and flawless direction.
This is a movie you truly need to see for yourself. You won’t see anything like it this year- I promise you. I’m touting this as the first great watch, for me, for 2022. I liked it so much that I went and watched Ducournau’s Raw immediately after. Stay tuned for that review. This isn’t just another horror movie, it was thought-provoking, enthralling and just stunning to watch. It explores urges, vulnerabilities, grief and sexuality in a way I haven’t seen done before. Definitely a must watch.
Where To Find It