If Elden, France were a real town, then Marianne on Netflix would be disastrous for tourism. The coastal town’s stunning vistas appear to be perfect Instagram feed fodder. But they’re really a stage for supernatural horrors, featuring the scariest villain in memorable history (no makeup required).
Think of Elden as France’s equivalent of Derry, ME. It’s the kind of place you run away from, if given the chance. When Emma Larsimon (Victoire Du Bois) is 15, she does. Now a world-famous horror author, Emma is summoned back to Elden by a distraught childhood friend.
Emma finds Elden just as she left over a decade ago. As in, a demon named Marianne is still roaming about.
Sorry to disappoint demon hunters, but Elden is not real town. Marianne was primarily filmed in Paris and Brittany, a region in northwestern France. Brittany, called Bretagne in French, has miles and miles of (potentially haunted) coastline. The gray, misty region has long been linked to the supernatural. Tourists flock to Château de Trécesson, a medieval castle in Brittany, for a glimpse of the legendary dames blanches, ghosts who warn people of impending doom.
“Elden” is actually Doëlan, a quintessential French harbour town located in the commune of Clohars-Carnoët. And yes, Doëlan is as idyllic as it seems in Marianne. At the port of Doëlan, little multi-colored fishing boats float in green water, surrounded by charming thatched cottages. Each afternoon, fishermen sell their catch directly from their boats. A lighthouse – the lighthouse in Marianne — stands at the edge of the port.
Unlike Elden, which is a nest of gloom, Doëlan seems like a good place to get an Airbnb. Just compare Elden’s foreboding motto, “You’ll be back,” with Doëlan’s simple “A port of two halves.” The former translates to, “Stay away!” and the latter to, uh, “A port of two halves.”
Also, Doëlan is appears to be relatively untouched by tourists. According to Brittany Tourism, “There are also just one or two boutiques, but this place hasn’t been invaded by tourist shops to date.” Brace yourselves, fishermen of Doëlan. The Marianne fans are coming for selfies.