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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Out-Laws (AKA Clan)


Starring: Barbara Sarafian, Kristin Van Pellicom, Ruth Becquart, Maaike Neuville and Inge Paulussen
Distributor: Nordic Noir & Beyond
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 19 September 2016

After the early death of their parents, the Goethal sisters find that their lives are inextricably linked. With the marriage of the fifth sister the bonds begin to unravel and when the marriage turns sour the remainder sisters decide that for the good of all, Jean-Claude, their brother-in-law, has to die. Unfortunately, for the sisters, planning an ingenious murder is rather harder than executing it...

The Out-Laws (aka Clan, 2012. 10 eps x 4 disc’s 512 mins) is a Belgian television black comedy series, directed by Kaat Beels and Nathalie Basteyns. The show is presented with English subtitles.

The story opens with the funeral of Jean-Claude, after which much of the story is told in flashback. This device allows the audience the enjoinment of watching the sisters increasingly bungled attempts at killing him without revealing who was finally successful. It also allows the show to slowly reveal the numerous secrets held by the characters.

Without doubt Jean-Claude was an unpleasant fellow and many had a motive for killing him, therefore although the police find no foul play in his death, his insurance company have ideas of their own and their gaze settles on his widow, Goedele and her overprotective sisters Veerle, Eva, Bekka and Bibi. As the plot unravels the show takes side journeys into the plot, always entertaining, whilst at the same time keeping the secret of his murderer close to its chest.

Although the supporting cast do well in their various roles, the show is ultimately carried by the actresses who play the sister, Barbara Sarafian, Kristine Van Pellicom, Ruth Becquart, Maaike Neuville and Inge Paulussen, all of whom put in good performances. And, as an audience, our sympathies are very much with the sisters, the five actresses portray their characters with sympathy and I for one wanted the girls to get away with it, if it turned out they had succeeded in their murderous plans.

The picture is clean and clear, the subtitles unobtrusive. Unfortunately, the set contains nothing in the way of extras.


Charles Packer

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