Monday, July 12, 2010
Ils aka Them is another of the french wave of horror-thrillers to hit the states.This was already loosely remade here as the strangers,well very loosely.Ils is a very creepy,and stylistic horror flick that relies on tension and a simple idea of your house being invaded to scare you.It's done fairly well here.Also the opening scene is very creepy and really gets you ready for the ride you'll be on.
The plot:French couple Lucas (Michael Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in a big and secluded plantation style house far away from anyone or anything in Romania.We learn that Clementine is a French teacher and Lucas is some kind of writer.They seem to love living out in the middle of nowhere but it soon turns into quite a nightmare for them one night as they begin to hear strange noises later that night that echo through their big house.It seems something or someone has come for them.
The noises continue and we the viewer are left in the dark,we have no idea what it is that is invading their home,why they are doing or what they want.This really works well as we are left guessing,eventually we do get glimpses of what is attacking them as the attackers begin to get closer and closer to Clementine and Lucas,finally forcing them to retreat to the bathroom to hide out.Clementine makes her way to the attic via the bathroom and is stalked through there as the tension gets ramped up even higher as we know the attackers must be one step ahead of them.What I also liked is this tension is here through the rest of the film as eventually Clementine and Lucas are forced to retreat from the sanctuary of their own home and head for the dark and ominous woods in hope of escaping.It doesn't end there as the fast and aggressive pace doesn't let up and they are finally stalked to an underground sewer system where we finally see just what and who the assailants were.
I won't give much away about who the assailants were other than it was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous 3/4 of the movie.It almost made the whole movie a bit less frightening but it does make you think about what is going on over there in poor European nations and this was supposedly based on a true story.
The acting. Lucas (Michael Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) both are easily likable and really do seem like a normal everyday couple.It was nice that they were more towards middle age and not your everyday ordinary stupid teenagers.Also interesting that they are pretty much the movie,nobody else really is of any relevance to talk about.
The Gore-Not much on display,just some minor blood shed but tons of suspense and tension which was better than gore.
Directed by: David Moreau and Xavier Palud who I hope to see more from as I really dug the premise and how something as simple as your home being invaded can scare the shit out of you.
Closing:A fast pace and creepy ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you guessing until the end.Also sporting 2 likable leads that who for once you want to live and not die,ils keeps the tension high throughout is short 70 minute run time.Worth a view