Arthur Malediction review by Bobby Blakey
In 2006 writer/director Luc Besson brought his fantasy book series Arthur to the fun life with the animated feature Arthur and the Invisibles also known as Arthur and the Minimoys. The film spawned two animated sequels that didn’t do very well in the states and seemingly the franchise ended. Now it is getting a horror themed spin-off with Besson producing a live action Arthur Malediction starring Mathieu Berger, Thalia Besson-Sylla, Lola Andreoni, Mikael Halimi, Yann Mendy, Jade Pedri, Vadim Agid, Marceau Ebersolt and Ludovic Berthillot from director Barthelemy Grossman at the helm. Could this new take on the popular kids series add a fun horror twist or should it remain invisible?
Arthur Malediction follows Alex who has been a big fan of the fantasy film saga Arthur and the Minimoys since childhood. His best friends surprise him with a special present for his 18th birthday: a trip to the abandoned country house where the saga was set. What begins as a weekend adventure, quickly turns into a deadly nightmare.
I never got to see the follow up films to the Arthur series, but revisted the original film prior to watching this. The film is fine and does entertain, but outside of the creativity of it there isn’t anything there that really stands out. It is still a fun flick, but wonder how many people will remember it which is a pretty big necessity for this latest entry to fully work. It’s the story as a whole you need,. But the overall aspect, locations and some of the characters that are important.
Heading into this film I thought it was an interesting and creative way to dive back into the franchise in a whole new way far from the source material. This meta toned story brings some fun to the legacy of the film while thrusting it into a teen horror flick that actually works more than it doesn’t. I will say that the story I thought I was going to get that had me the most excited sadly wasn’t here, but in its place was something that still mostly works.
The film kicks off diving right into the world of Arthur and this group of fans that love the film. This sets the tone of this world prior to getting to the meat of it all that does take quite along time to get there. If I had a major issue here it was that the slow pacing to actually anything happening does fatigue the viewer waiting for the fun to happen. When we finally get there it is worth the wait, but never goes all in to create something that really smacks you in the face. Instead it feels like they are trying to make a horror flick for a younger audience and it shows.
Have no fear there is some blood and kills just nothing graphic or really scary. The film plays up more of a coming of age tale of this group of teens as well as a murder mystery survival to what they are actually up against and the legacy of the film. Had it gone a bit more over the top and really played up the Arthur mythology in this more violent world it could have been epic, but instead they opted for something more subdued for the masses and by the numbers.
Despite its issues I still had a good time with the flick and love that its core history is linked to a kids animated franchise. Its like they grew the franchise with the audience to something they might want to see now as well as infusing a series long thought over with something new and different.
Decide for yourself and check out Arthur Malediction when it hits VOD and digital on February 3rd from Capelight Pictures.