Deerskin has been marketed as a comedy and a horror movie, but it took me about 30 minutes before I could tell that it was either. Jean Dujardin stars as a Georges, a middle-aged divorcee who decides to buy a used, fringed, deerskin jacket of his dreams for the insane price of €7,500. The seller, perhaps feeling a bit sorry for the guy he's obviously scamming, also throws in a used digital camcorder.
George doesn't just love his jacket, he's obsessed with it. And the jacket talks to him. Together they decide to pursue a dream: that the deerskin jacket be the only jacket in the world.
How Georges pursues that dream is where the movie delves into horror territory. As I was watching, I was reminded a bit of another French-language horror movie, 1992's Man Bites Dog; they both combine murder and verite film-making with very dark comedy. Director Quentin Dupieux also made the horror comedies Rubber (which is haven't seen; it'll be in next year's list for sure) and Mandibles (which just might make an appearance this year; stay tuned), so it's a fusion of genres he clearly has a fondness for.
I think were Deerkskin any longer than it is--it's not even 90 minutes--it probably wouldn't work at all. But its brevity means you don't have time to think too hard about what the movie is even trying to say--one character, an aspiring film editor played by Adèle Haenel sums up a good possibility in one scene--before it's over, with an ending that borders on perfect.
Deerskin is available to rent from several online platforms. I watched it via Amazon Prime and a free trial of Cinemax.