Feb 23, 2008

Them


AKA
Ils

Them is a film that debuted in Europe in 2006, "terrifying" the nation. It is based on actual events which, when known, are pretty horrifying. While it is a very effective film and has a great feel, the film does drag in many spots and leads to much frustration. The plot has a minimalistic feel. A loving couple in their inconveniently placed home one night, become under siege from a group of unidentified things.


Them had a lot of hype for me. Seeing the clips and the trailers, it seemed that it might even scare me. With these expectations in mind, i set out to begin watching it. The action picks up rather quick within the first 15 minutes and doesn't let up until the end. It runs at about 77 minutes, which is not long for a feature length film, but keeps you entertained, which is a great thing.

The directing style seemed bland, too many contrived shots on things of no purpose and the lack of lighting to add to the feel. The lack of lighting worked for The Descent but was not needed in this film. Even in areas of natural light, it was still too dark. It's hard to praise a stalk/slash film for having realistic actions. We all claim we would grab a knife, but who knows? Terror has an adverse effect on the brain and we won't know until we are placed in said situation.

Many of the sets were manufactured to thrill and scare, which was annoying. Scenes like a plastic sheet corridor in her attic and manufactured sound effects to startle. The plastic scene looked ripped from Child's Play 2. It was like a French survival horror version of Shyamalan's Signs, except without aliens.

The sound effects were extremely effective at times, rarely getting dull, but what this film did reminds me of what Open Water did, take an event that not much is known about, and give it some expressionist feel to it and try to create wacky situations and moods. Most of what happened could not even be possible for the attackers to do. By halfway through the film, i knew only the ending could save it. It had gotten repetitious and undeserving of this title.

Most French directors even seem to come in Duo's now. This couple also being responsible for the beyond horrendous unnecessary remake of The Eye. It seems one persons vision of a film is not enough anymore. The single most powerful theme in the movie was the ending. Based on a true story, once it dawns on you, i promise your jaw will hit the floor. If you want the full effect of this film, it's best to not watch any of the trailers or clips. You know how American trailers love to throw every scare scene in a 2 minute mash-up, call it a trailer, and ruin every chiller moment.


-Maq

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