Monday, September 3, 2012

Them (2006)

I saw this movie years ago, and realized recently that I never wrote a review.  In an attempt to make some sort of dent in my Netflix instant queue, a quiet afternoon and a glass of Shoofly Buzz Cut is the perfect opportunity for a rewatch.

Of all the foreign horror movies to come out in recent years, those out of France and Korea have been my favorites.  I go through phases where I watch so many from a particular region that I feel like I start to speak the language.  I have a high school knowledge of French, which makes watching French movies a little more understandable to me.  Them has very little dialogue between the main characters and relies greatly on noises and atmospheric terror. 

The basic premise surrounds a couple, Lucas and Clementine, who live in a remote house.  Oh, the life of French people.  Eating delicious food, drinking wine, smoking cigarettes, watching TV, and having sex.  They're attempting to enjoy their weekend when a variety of strange occurrences begin to take place.   Strangely, in French horror movies, people seem to stay very calm as scary things start to happen.  Even as a seasoned horror veteran, if my phone rings with heavy breathing in the middle of the night, I'm barricading myself with a weapon, not taking a fucking bath! 

Lucas and Clementine fall asleep, only to be awakened by an outdoor noise, which turns out to be their car being stolen.  The lights go out, and they begin to panic.  They are randomly attacked and taunted, but one of the cool parts of this movie is that you rarely see the villains. There's no Jason or Michael Myers stalking around with giveaway music.  I love that the stalkers are so ambiguous. 

The environment of this movie is awesome.  I love the old house, the tunnels, and the "trapped in the open" vibe of the countryside.  The acting is great, and the two main characters are really able to carry the movie with their intensity.  The length of this movie is perfect, in my opinion.  I appreciate these short and intense horror flicks.  The ending of this movie, of course, created controversy over whether it was good or not.  I thought it was creepy, but I would have enjoyed it more if they showed an actual interview.

This movie was touted as being "based on true events," and it was.  There was a similar story where a couple spending a vacation in Romania were brutally murdered by three teenagers.  Also, there was a sort-of remake here in America, which you would know as The Strangers.  I'm a city girl to the core, and the thought of spending vacations in remote areas is unappealing, nonetheless living full time in one.  Them is a cool flick, although as Americans, we probably relate more to The Strangers.


Unknown said...

I like this film, and definitely the setting, but I can't help but compare it to Eden Lake, which is so realistic and disturbing.