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Ils/Them

Point-of-view mayhem
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 29, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
TRAILERS_Ils_Them_untitled- inside
Olivia Bonamy

As in the 1954 horror movie with the same English-language title, David Moreau and Xavier Palud try to keep the identity of the title antagonists a secret for as long as possible. Point-of-view shots meander, wobble, and disclose nothing. Unidentifiable or horrific sounds sail in from off screen. Rapid cuts and a hand-held camera jumble the image — something can be discerned, but what? As a master class on suspense, horror, and thriller technique, the film excels. The victims, however, don’t make much of an impression. After an initial incident of mysterious mayhem, the filmmakers get down to terrorizing a young couple, Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy), a French teacher, and Lucas (Michaël Cohen), her writer boyfriend, in their moldering, isolated mansion. Her car is stolen, the power is cut, doors and windows slam, and . . . what is that weird, chitinous, crackling noise? They’re soon backed into the attic, and so is the movie. Once we find out who “them” is, it seems as if a whole new movie should begin.
  Topics: Reviews , David Moreau, Xavier Palud, Michael Cohen
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