3615 code Père Noël

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3615 code Père Noël
CodePereNoel.jpg
Film poster
Directed byRené Manzor
Written byRené Manzor
Starring
Music byJean-Félix Lalanne
CinematographyMichel Gaffier
Edited byChristine Pansu
Production
company
Deal
Garance
L.M. Productions
Distributed byDeal
UGC
Release date
  • March 18, 1989 (1989-03-18) (Laon Film Festival of Youth and Children's Films)
  • January 17, 1990 (1990-01-17) (France)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryFrance
LanguageFrench

3615 code Père Noël (also known as Deadly Games, Dial Code Santa Claus, Game Over and Hide and Freak) is a 1989 French horror-thriller film written and directed by René Manzor.[1][2] It is noted for its similarities to the 1990 American film Home Alone,[3] the makers of which Manzor once threatened with legal action on the grounds of plagiarism,[4] alleging that they had "remade my movie".[5]

Plot[edit]

Thomas de Frémont, a child prodigy obsessed with tinkering and action films, lives in a secluded and high-tech mansion with his widowed mother, Julie, his diabetic and partially blind grandfather, Papy, and his pet dog, J.R. On Christmas Eve, Thomas uses the Minitel to try and communicate with Santa Claus, and unknowingly makes contact with a local derelict who is using a public terminal. The slightly deranged man claims to be Santa, and attempts to get Thomas to divulge his address; before their connection is severed, the vagrant learns that Thomas's mother manages a nearby Printemps.

While Thomas sets up a security system to record or capture Santa, the vagabond gets a job as a Santa at the Printemps, but is fired from it after Julie witnesses him slap a child who had accused him of not being the real Santa. The vagrant subsequently steals a Santa costume, paints his hair and beard white, and hitches a ride to Julie's home in the back of a delivery van, the driver of which he kills upon reaching the mansion. The man then murders Julie's groundskeeper and her chef, breaks into her mansion through the chimney, and stabs J.R. to death in front of Thomas, who is convinced that the intruder is Santa, whipped into a rage by Thomas staying up late to see him. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Thomas uses his security system and booby traps, as well as an arsenal of makeshift weaponry, to defend his enfeebled grandfather and combat the trespasser, who has cut the telephone lines and trashed the only car; the man at one point catches Thomas, but then immediately releases him while declaring, "I win. You lose. Now... I'll go hide myself, and you'll be it. Okay?"

Julie, concerned over her calls home not getting through, phones the police, who send an officer to the mansion to check on Thomas and Papy. The vagrant murders the policeman and recaptures Thomas, but the boy is saved when his grandfather manages to shoot his assailant with the dead officer's gun. Julie arrives home to find a stunned Thomas standing over the killer's body, stammering, "It's my fault, Mom. I wanted to see Santa."

Cast[edit]

  • Brigitte Fossey as Julie de Frémont
  • Louis Ducreux as Papy
  • Patrick Floersheim as Le Père Noël[6]
  • Alain Lalanne (credited “Alain Musy”) as Thomas de Frémont
  • François-Éric Gendron as Roland
  • Stéphane Legros as Pilou
  • Franck Capillery as Le Policier
  • Nicole Raucher as Louise
  • Gédéon as Charles
  • Charles de Feral as Cadre du Printemps
  • Marion Bureau as Marion
  • Mousse as Le Clown
  • Edmond Thanel as Chauffeur-Livreur
  • René Manzor as Responsable Stock

Reception[edit]

René Manzor and 3615 code Père Noël won Best Director and Best Film, respectively, at the 1990 Fantafestival.[7]

While James Simpson of UK Horror Scene criticized the film's lax approach to continuity, he still concluded that 3615 code Père Noël was "a fun French festive horror" with a standout and "definitely menacing" performance by Patrick Floersheim.[8] Virgile Dumez of aVoir-aLire also responded well to the film, praising the cast and direction, and noting that, "despite some clumsiness, it remains one of the best representatives of what French cinema can offer when it dares to leave its comfort zone."[9]

Release[edit]

In 2018 the film had its North American premiere at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, after having been restored by American Genre Film Archive.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lejealle, Catherine (17 March 2015). "Unfriended: le film qui en dit long sur le fonctionnement des réseaux sociaux (et qui va vous faire avoir peur d'Internet)". atlantico.fr. Atlantico. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  2. ^ Malausa, Vincent (25 December 2013). "De Gremlins à 3615 Père Noël: les films à voir à Noël... et ceux à oublier". leplus.nouvelobs.com. L'Obs. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  3. ^ Demoulin, Anne (24 December 2015). "Le père Noël en mode trash". 20minutes.fr. 20 minutes. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  4. ^ Vanwetswinkel, Margaux (15 December 2016). "14 choses que vous ignorez encore sur Maman, j'ai raté l'avion". vanityfair.fr. Vanity Fair. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  5. ^ Horowitz, Joy (15 March 1992). "Hollywood Law: Whose Idea Is It, Anyway?". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  6. ^ Jouanneau, Julien (5 March 2016). "Mort de Patrick Floersheim, célèbre voix de Michael Douglas, "visage avant tout"". lexpress.fr. L'Express. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  7. ^ Comunale, Antonello (9 January 2012). "Un minuto a mezzanotte". sentireascoltare.com. Sentireascoltare. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  8. ^ Simpson, James (19 December 2014). "James Simpson's Christmas World of Horror: 36:15 Code Pere Noel (France, 1989)". ukhorrorscene.com. UK Horror Scene. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  9. ^ Dumez, Virgil (1 November 2016). "Maman, j'ai explosé le Père Noël!". avoir-alire.com. aVoir-aLire. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  10. ^ Jones, Tamika (19 November 2018). "New Christmas cult classic alert: Dial Code Santa Claus is finally coming to America". news.avclub.com. The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Dial Code Santa Claus". americangenrefilm.com. American Genre Film Archive. Retrieved 25 December 2018.

External links[edit]