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Film / Sheitan

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Sheitan (a.k.a. The Devil in Arabic Language) is a 2006 French erotic comedy horror film directed by debutante director Kim Chapiron. It was written by Kim and Christian Chapiron. It stars and was co-produced by Vincent Cassel. His then-wife Monica Bellucci makes a cameo appearance in the film.

On Christmas Eve, in the Styxx Club in Paris, the troublemaker Bart and his scum friends, Thaï and Ladj, meet the bartender Yasmine and the customer Eve, and after a fight by Bart in the nightclub, Eve invites the group to go to her house in the country. There, they are introduced to the eccentric housekeeper Joseph, who comes across as a slightly dim-witted and eccentric farmer.

Slowly, the visitors discover that Joseph is a devil worshiper, and he has something sinister planned for them.

Tropes in Sheitan:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Eve starts off thinking Bart's name is Marc, and introduces him to Joseph as 'Marc'. Bart corrects her, and she starts calling by his correct name, but it takes longer for it to sink in for Joseph who keeps calling him 'Marc' for sometime.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The city boys Bart, Ladj and Thai are only interested in getting into the panties of Eve and Yasmine. Their obsession blinds them to all of the weird events going on around them until it is far too late.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Joseph has a vicious guard dog named Cerberus. The name is not ironic (or coincidental).
  • Away in a Manger: The film takes place on Christmas Eve. Joseph's wife Marie is pregnant. And Joseph tells a local folktale about a child born at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve...
  • Bad Santa: In the Film Within a Film the pumpman is watching, a man dressed as Santa attempts to sexually assault a sleeping woman. Unfortunately for him, she turns out to be a vampire.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: The boys think they are safe as the start to pull away from the manor in Ladj's car. However, Joseph appears running beside the car, smashes one of the windows with his bare hands, then lunges in and starts strangling Bart.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: After Bart rejects her advances, the sex-crazed Jeanne starts performing sexual acts on his dog Tyson: seemingly in an attempt to turn him on.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: During the drunken Christmas Eve feast, Joseph tells his guests a folktale about a fearless peasant who was goaded by the Devil into having sex with his sister, and the demonic child who would be born of this union. The story is actually about Joseph, and his pregnant 'wife' is really his sister.
  • Butt-Monkey: Anything unpleasant that happens is almost guaranteed to happen to Bart. A lot of it he does bring on himself, however.
  • The Cameo: Monica Bellucci appears briefly as a vampire in the Film Within a Film the pumpman is watching at the garage.
  • Car Fu: After stopping suddenly and throwing Joseph off the roof of his car, Ladj then accelerates and runs him other.
  • Creepy Doll: Eve's father owned a doll store, and the house contains a dollmaker's workshop full of partially-built dolls and doll parts, and his collections of antique marionettes and giant dolls in the attic. All of this is quite creepy. Additionally, Marie is sneaking around the house assembling a doll with a broken head that she keeps attaching human parts to.
  • Crusty Caretaker: Joseph initially comes across as a slightly dim-witted and eccentric farmer. Slowly, the visitors discover that Joseph is a devil worshiper, and he has something sinister planned for them.
  • Dirty Coward: Ladj by the end of the film. When he is driving away from the house, he refuses to stop to pick up his girlfriend Yasmine who is stranded by the side of the road in the snow. When Bart (of all people) calls him out on this, he throws Bart out of the car and keeps driving.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film starts on the evening of Dec. 23 and ends on midnight Christmas Eve.
  • Eye Scream: At the end of the film, Bart wakes up to discover that Joseph has removed his eyes.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Bart and his friends shoplift a bunch of snackfoods from the service station. (They also drive off without paying for the fuel.)
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: It is hard to see why Bart's friends hang out with him. He is whiny and obnoxious, won't take any kind of hint, starts trouble that Ladj and Thai have to bail him out of, and has bad breath. He even hits on their girlfriends. Ladj and Thai constantly insult him, and Thai performs a puppet show mocking him. In the dream Bart has while unconscious, they both abandon him and tell him he's on his own.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: After Bart starts a fight in Club Styxx, the bouncer smashes a bottle over his head.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Nasty things happen on Christmas Eve.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Joseph comes across as this when he refers to Thai as a 'chink' and Yasmine as a 'camel driver', as he appears to be a well-meaning yokel who doesn't know any better. Later, Jasmine seems to be treating him calling her 'little camel driver' as a term of affection. However, when he refer to Ladj as 'nigger' and 'coon' during the drunken Christmas dinner, it becomes apparent that his political incorrectness might not be as innocent as it first seemed.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The roast goat scene. The food makes Yasmine sick so she doesn't eat, and Eve—while tucking into the meal with gusto—is at least using cutlery and eating relatively demurely. The men, however, are ripping at the flesh with their fingers and stuffing it into their mouths, chewing with mouths open, speaking with their mouths full, and generally behaving like pigs. The dinner table discussion is also pretty disgusting. This marks the point where the film transitions from being blackly humorous to downright horrific
  • Jerkass: Bart. He is a whiny and obnoxious ingrate; hits on women who aren't interested in him, and won't take no for an answer; picks fights he can't win and relies on his friends to bail him out of trouble; and even hits on his mates' girlfriends. His mates Ladj and Thai aren't a lot better, but at least possess some basic social skills, a modicum of personal charm, and have a reasonable understanding of their own weaknesses.
  • Mugging the Monster: In the Film Within a Film the pumpman is watching, a Bad Santa attempts to sexually assault a sleeping woman, only for her to turn out to be a vampire.
  • Neck Lift: During the fight in the workshop, the enraged Joseph grabs Ladj by the throat, hoists him into the air, and slams him against the wall. The height difference between Vincent Cassel and Ladj Ly makes this particularly striking.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: After Joseph is pushed out the broken window of Ladj's car, he somehow turns up on the roof: trying to stab down through it.
  • One-Word Title
  • Outside Ride: After Joseph is pushed out the broken window of Ladj's car, he somehow turns up on the roof: trying to stab down through it.
  • Skinny Dipping: Joseph takes the visitors to a local hot spring. Although they keep their underwear on, a group of locals arrive and strip off naked before joining them.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Jeanne rips off a chunk of Bart's scalp (with hair attached) and gives it to Marie who pastes it on to the Creepy Doll she is making.
  • Super Window Jump: The boys flee the house and pile into Ladj's car. However, while Ladj is trying to start it, the enraged Joseph (who they thought they had left unconscious inside) jumps through one of the ground floor windows—curtains, glass and all—and comes charging towards them.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Bart gets hit over the head and knocked out. He wakes up to find himself back outside Club Styxx where he got hit in the face with a bottle at the start of the film. His friends tell him he has been unconscious and insist on taking him to the hospital. Bart convinces himself that every he experienced after being hit by the bottle was just a nightmare. However, the trip to hospital becomes increasingly surreal and nightmarish, and he realizes that this is actual the dream, just before he wakes up back in the country house.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The events of the film all lead up to the birth of the demonic child, which legend says will occur as the church bells toll midnight on Christmas Eve.