I’ve been on a French crime series binge on Netflix of late. I thought it was time to share all of these awesome shows with you.
Let's get straight to it.
Ok, so this series is set in Belgium. It was also a crime series that featured on a previous Moviehooker list but I never got round to finishing it. That was rectified recently when I watched the whole season without moving off my ass.
The Break follows Detective Yoann Peeters, a single father struggling with a 17-year-old daughter. Peeters is reassigned to his hometown after a botched police operation ended in the deaths of fellow officers.
When the horrific, butchered remains of a young footballer named Driss is found in a nearby river, Peeters is put in charge of the investigation.
In each episode, Detective Peeters must sit down with a shrink to talk about his actions that resulted in the deaths of his colleagues in his previous job. I found the small gradual build-up between these two characters very interesting. At first, these sessions seem like police protocol, an annoyance to Peeters who seems to have better things to be doing with his time. Cracks in his character start to show which proves that Peeters is way more affected by the traumatic events that ended in tragedy.
Gripping, and unpredictable, The Break really is a crime series that’ll keep you guessing right up until the end.
Also, Belgium is a beautiful setting for this dark crime series. It may be full of murder and bloodshed but it looks so damn pretty.
French cinema and serial killers are indeed a rarity, but when we do get them, they are usually of the highest calibre of twisted enjoyment.
Before we go any further!, here are three great French language serial killer films/TV shows
Get them cheap on Amazon!
La Mante grips you right from the get-go. Within the first couple of minutes, we’re introduced to some severed heads. I knew right then, this was going to another show that I will watch in its entirety without moving. I was right, and it was a damn good show at that.
The story of a copycat serial killer who is copying the murders of a female serial killer known to the public as La Mantis. Some years ago, La Mantis murdered 8-people, and very gruesomely as well.
There was no doubt that it was her that committed these murders. Her full grisly confession was their’s under one condition; that her name is changed to protect the identity of her young son.
Year’s later her son is now a detective. As far as everyone knows (except a couple of people) his mother died in a plane crash when he was 10-years-old. Now, the authorities are left with no choice but ask La Mante for assistance in helping catch the serial killer. La Mante has only one request and that is that she deals with her son in the case and her son only.
So not only have we got this fantastic female-lead serial killer drama but it doubles up as a family drama about a man trying to come to terms with his mother chopping up 8-people and now mummy wants to say she’s sorry. Touching, really.
THE FROZEN DEAD
The Frozen Dead may not be the most original crime series but it’s definitely not the worst. The cinematography is just mesmerising; a beautiful frozen winter landscape, miles of nothing. The beautiful backdrop presents an equal amount of fear and hopelessness, as it does beauty.
Detective Martin Servas is thrown deep into an odd investigation when the headless remains of a prize-racing-horse are found at the top of a mountain. Not only has the horse’s head chopped off but its remains are pinned up like Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is a little cliched but the performances are solid and it’s quite a strange case to follow. Better than most American crime dramas but a little further down the list when it comes to European crime TV.
No joke, I watched nearly 30-hours of French crime television on Netflix lately…in 3-days. Yup, that was nearly 10-hours a day. I feel I may have got a slight touch of Rigor mortis from doing that insane binge.
Then this series popped up on my “Because You Watched” list. It was called “Deep“, so it couldn’t be more suited to my current situation. I was indeed “Deep” in French crime television so I saw that as a sign.
I am so glad I chose to watch this. It is, by far the most “arty” out of the lot. This crime series sort of reminded of a mix between Gomorrah and Braquo shot with the lenses of La Haine.
The 3-part mini-series tells the story of Detective Michel Serrero, a great cop who has just been diagnosed with a serious illness. But rather than tell anyone, he continues to investigate a new synthetic drug that has hit the streets of Paris. This drug is highly addictive and is made with legal highs. It comes in the form of a vape and has the user hooked almost immediately.
As Michel’s physical and mental health starts to rapidly deteriorate, he must battle his own hallucinations, as well as a drug dependency stemmed from self-medicating trying to manage his pain.
Wonderfully shot, with amazing trippy hallucination dream-like sequences that make black & white cinema such a joy to watch.
If I had to be critical then I would say that it was over far too soon. I was enjoying the build-up, enjoying the characters. Not knowing that there were only 3-episodes in total, I felt a little sad that this cool little crime world came to an abrupt end all of a sudden.
Still, it’s 3-hours of your time well spent.
Well, folks, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed this short list and I hope I managed to hook you up with something new to binge-watch.
If you haven’t checked out these other amazing French crime films and TV shows then you are missing out.
Spiral – Complete Series 1-4 [DVD] (Series)
Thanks for reading.