Messe basse: what is this psychological thriller with Alice Isaaz and Jacqueline Bisset?

This August 4, Baptiste Drapeau’s first feature film will be released on the screens Messe basse. A thriller carried by Alice Isaaz and Jacqueline Bisset where the border between fantasy and reality is blurred.


In a large bourgeois house, two women, a widow and a student, fight over the love of a missing man until they sink into madness.

Messe basse directed by Baptiste Drapeau and written by Ollivier Briand. With Alice Isaaz, Jacqueline Bisset and François-Dominique Blin.


For his first feature film, after several shorts shown in various festivals around the world, Baptiste Drapeau had the chance to work with established actresses. Alice Isaaz and Jacqueline Bisset thus share the poster of Messe basse, and give themselves body and soul in this ghost story unlike any other.

Because if the film begins as a bourgeois drama, it quickly slides towards the thriller and plays with the spectator as to the presence or not of a ghost in the big house where the two heroines live.

So when Julie, the student played by Alice Isaaz, realizes that her host has never recovered from the death of her husband and imagines him continuing to live by his side, she decides to play along. But little little by little, the young woman also begins to move away from reality and to feel the presence of this deceased husband and even to fall in love with it. The border between reality and fantasy becomes thinner.

Thinking about it, I found that a person’s fantasized memory resembled the romantic fantasy of someone we know very little about. As the character of Elizabeth is old, I found it interesting to put a very young character in front, a little blue flower, who wants to live a great love story and who creates his own fantasy through this late husband.”, Indicates on this subject the screenwriter Ollivier Briand in the press kit. Besides, more than a “ghost movie”, The director speaks of a“fantasy movie”.

Messe basse: what is this psychological thriller with alice isaaz and jacqueline bisset?

Capricci Films / The Bookmakers


To immerse the viewer in the special atmosphere that reigns in Elizabeth’s house, Baptiste Drapeau has mainly constructed his film as a closed door. For him, it was then about “take up the challenge of doing an exercise in style that requires a lot of inventiveness and where everything goes through the staging”.

He explains : “A closed door calls for great rigor in the articulation of the story: there are few actions, sets and costumes, and the space must be reinvented by cutting it out.

Another challenge for the filmmaker: certain dreamlike sequences which required special effects. “I knew it would be impossible to stay on budget if we did all the special effects digitally. The majority of the sequences were therefore shot in SFX, that is to say live on the set.

I love this way of doing things, there is a childish side, a return to the origins”, He recalls. A way of doing things which gives a certain charm to this disturbing first feature film.

(Re) discover Alice Isaaz’s career:

Messe basse: what is this psychological thriller with alice isaaz and jacqueline bisset?

See the slideshow


From La Crème de la Creme to Mademoiselle de Joncquières, focus on Alice Isaaz

17 photos

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