Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Le singe est sur la branche.

Tonight was French movie night in my apartment. Or, ce soir, c'etait soiree "film Francais" a mon appartement. A long standing tradition ever since it's inception way back at 4 this afternoon. So much history, you know?

Le film was Them, or Ils if you prefer. It came out some time last year, and I'd been hearing a bit about it lately (including a small blurb in Rue Morgue). The poster claims 'you will never feel secure at home ever again.' Oh yeah? I'll be the judge of that.

The movie begins with a mother and her teenage daughter in a car. They're arguing, as mothers and teenage daughters do. The mother swerves off the road to avoid hitting something and ends up in a ditch. She gets out to pop the hood (rather than call AAA on her daughter's cellphone) and silently disappears. Naturally, the daughter is a little put off and goes to investigate. Her mom is just gone, and there's a weird noise coming from the woods, she's freaked out and jumps back into the car, trying to call for help. Suddenly, balls of dirt start hitting the windows. Then, two arms reach out from the back seat and strangle her.

What the crap?

Next, we're at a school. Apparently, we are in Bucharest. Clementine is a teacher. She is a French teacher, to be precise. Clem lives in a big fucking house with her boyfriend Lucas. Lucas is a writer. A writer who doesn't seem to be writing much. However, their jobs are relatively unimportant, since it doesn't come up again. We're told that they have jobs to flesh out the characters a little bit, I think.

So, regardless of what they do, they live in a big old house. One of those places with lots of space and noisy, creaky floors. They enjoy a quiet dinner, watch a little tv and go to bed. But, some noises wake Clem up. And she wakes Lucas up, and they go and investigate. Outside, they think they see someone, and they do, someone is stealing their car! They go inside and call the police, but there's nothing the police can do that night (for some odd reason). Then, the power goes out. And the phone is dead. The shutters start slamming shut, and someone is in the house.

At 70 minutes, Ils is a short movie. But it's quick and to the point. And it does so many things right in that small amount of time. It's atmosphere and tension. There isn't any real gore or jump scares here. It doesn't need those things. Everything just builds so beautifully. Everything about this movie is executed so well. Even 'them', or bad guys. You, in the end, find out a bit about them, but for most of the movies it's shadows and mystery. You never know how many there are. You don't know what they look like. You don't know what they want. It was, as the kids are saying these days, fucked up.

I can't say that I'll 'never feel secure in my home ever again', but I tell you that this was a great movie. It was really a great example of what a good horror movie should be. 9 screwdrivers through the keyhole out of 10.


Nik! said...

Films fran├žais d'horreur! Vous avez raison qu'elle n'est pas juste. Pas pourquoi vous pensez cependant.