Sinister Screens

Megalomaniac (2023) ★★


Felix and Martha, the two offspring of legendary serial murderer The Skinner of Mons, grapple with the grotesque legacy bequeathed to them. While Martha works a menial janitorial job, Felix continues his father’s reign of terror. But following a brutal attack at work, Martha quickly descends into madness, finding she must come to terms with the infamous blood that flows through her veins.


Megalomaniac is a pitch-dark moody french horror film that is really difficult to explain. It has a serial-killer driven narrative, with splatter and gore. There’s violence, nudity and other elements that some may consider as extreme. But there’s also an attempt at building plot and characters. So much so that it really goes into a lull during periods of its run-time.

The director, Karim Ouelhaj, really harnesses a hellish vision here of what these two siblings perceive as reality. There is a taint to their existence, being the offspring of a serial killer and that heritage lives on through them, especially Felix who continues his father’s work. The dysfunction of Martha is showcased in somewhat surreal but always unfortunate sequences, as she faces the brunt of life’s downward spiral.

Megalomaniac really straddles many subgenres: it’s a touch extreme torture porn, part slasher, part revenge flick, and a few others. It’s weirdly clouded enough in its dark atmosphere to be ambiguous to what is transpiring. What is the meaning? Is there a meaning. Or is it just a snapshot of some nightmarish hellscape shared by two damned souls?

It’s tough to connect the dots in this film. It tries to be a lot of things in the genre, but nothing focused enough to make it stand out as a really good horror film. Credit goes to the vision of its creators though. It kept my attention throughout, the acting was good, just not anything truly exceptional beyond the scope of its nightmarish mood.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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