Monday, 1 August 2011

Review - Them (2006 - Dir. David Moreau, Xavier Palud)

An urban legendy murder kicks off proceedings and then you’re into a fairly slow opening section where not a lot happens. For about twenty-five minutes. Out of a seventy-seven minute film, that’s a long time.

Based on a true story, Lucas (Michaël Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere, as people in horror films have a tendency to do. Mrs evlkeith commented that if they’d lived in a normal house, none of the bad things would have happened to them. True, but a film about a couple watching Jeremy Kyle wouldn’t make the most compulsive viewing. 

The house is actually the strong point of the film: long corridors with multiple doorways and pillars, put there to obstruct your view, a cluttered attic with plenty of hiding spaces and best of all, a staircase. Staircases are always scary, as long as you’re coming from the upstairs to downstairs. You’re just waiting for a figure to appear at the bottom (see Hardcover and Paranormal Activity for quality stair malarkey). The directors use the house well but don’t really do anything different. The scares are generally easily predicted by anyone who’s seen a few horror films.

You will spend a lot of the film saying, ‘Why are they doing that?’ or ‘Why don’t they just...?’ But again, without them doing stupid things there wouldn’t be much of a film. If you actually think of it as a true story it must have been a terrifying ordeal. There is a fair bit of tension to be had but nothing for gore hounds. It doesn’t need it though; I can’t see that it would have added anything. Taken as a horror film, it’s okay and if you haven’t seen much horror before you can add a couple of points to the review score. 

If you like this you could also try:
Frozen, Wolf Creek, Paranormal Activity, Lake Mungo.

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