is a French supernatural thriller from 2001, featuring Gérard Depardieu
as the title character.
1830. As the July Revolution looms in the horizon, private detective Vidocq (the very first one in France) disappears while searching a masked killer named The Alchemist. His biographer Etienne Boisset then starts tracking his movements, while The Alchemist tracks his.
This film has the examples of:
- Character Title
- Genius Bruiser: Vidocq.
- Historical-Domain Character
- Immortality Immorality: Alchemist's mask grants him immortality and eternal youth by storing and slowly draining the souls of people who died staring into his mask.
- In the Hood: The Alchemist wears a black hood over his mirrored mask.
- The Killer In Me: It turns out that Etienne is the Alchemist himself, who tries to find and eliminate all clues leading to him that Vidocq left.
- Mask of Power: The Alchemist's mask is made out of mirror that he uses to eat the souls of his victims. For extra creepiness, it also makes the victim see their own dying face while looking at him.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The Alchemist not only teleports offscreen but also manages to change his position in absolutely impossible movements. However, this is consistent with the villains' impossible nature, who even manages to have two left arms in one scene.
- The Reveal: Vidocq has been Faking the Dead to trap the Alchemist, who turns out to be Etienne.
- Serial Killer: The Alchemist.
- Posthumous Character: Vidocq himself.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: Played with. At first it seems that the murders are this, but then it turns out that the Alchemist is really a supernatural killer.
- Soft Glass: Made into a subtle hint of future plot development, as the Alchemist (a walking defiance of physics) jumps through a large window and several stories to the ground, walking away unharmed. Later on, Etienne does the same thing.
- Virgin Sacrifice: The Alchemist requires the blood of young female virgins to keep the mask that gives him his powers on the mend. The details are unclear, but one escaped subject seemed to have had her tongue cut out, and his laboratory contained mutilated human remains and rags that may have started out as human skins.