films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
more info



2019 / 104m - Belgium
Bastaard poster

A simple thriller. A little too simple really, as it's almost impossible to build up tension when the plot is so by the numbers that you can pretty much map the entire film out from the very start. Mortelmans doesn't make it easy on himself by sticking so closely to conventions and doesn't add enough as a director to make his film stand out.

Read all

He does get the basics right though. The performances are decent, even though it's mostly the younger actors who leave an impression. Visually it's decent but nothing too spectacular, the same goes for the soundtrack, though kudos for including some actual, normal rave music for the party scene, even when it's some 25 year old classic.

The middle part was too uneventful and predictable to hold my attention, luckily the ending does have a few surprises in store. Not the actual plot twists, but the way they are delivered does deserve some recognition. It isn't enough to fully redeem the film, but at least it gives the impression that Mortelmans can do better when given time to grow.