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The Monk review

Not to be confused with the US detective comedy drama.

This French cautionary tale is based on a 1796 gothic novel about devout Capucin Ambrosio’s (Vincent Cassel)’s fall from grace.

After offering succour to a strange, masked pilgrim, Ambrosio gets bitten by an insect in his rose garden – you can probably sense a metaphor brewing here – and the succour’s soon feverishly returned.

Director Dominik Moll makes some odd style choices – like Looney Tunes -style ‘iris wipes’ – and it’s a while before Cassel fully embraces his dark side, yet his customary charisma is what seals The Monk ’s redemption.

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Matt Glasby is a freelance film and TV journalist. You can find his work on Total Film - in print and online - as well as at publications like the Radio Times, Channel 4, DVD REview, Flicks, GQ, Hotdog, Little White Lies, and SFX, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film and Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting To This Is England.