DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
THEM (ILS) (director/writer: David Moreau/Xavier Palud; cinematographer: Axel Cosnefroy; editor: Nicolas Sarkissian; music: Rene-Marc Bini; cast: Olivia Bonamy (Clementine Sauveur), Michael Cohen (Lucas Meclev), Maria Roman (Sanda), Adriana Moca (Ilona); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Richard Grandpierre; Dark Sky Films; 2006-France/Romania-in French with English subtitles)

 
"A disturbing DV-shot horror thriller."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The debut feature film of the writer-directors David Moreau/Xavier Palud ("The Eye") is a disturbing DV-shot horror thriller. It's more like an academic exercise in how to make a disturbing genre film that is bigger on showing the filmmaker duos potential than actual accomplishments. 

The story opens with the homicide of two Romanians -- a woman (Maria Roman) and her rude young daughter (Adriana Moca) -- who argue and mom crashes their car along a rural forest road and they are promptly dispatched of by unseen things in the night. 

The setting then returns to the same area in an isolated house in the forest of Snagov, Romania, where during the weekend Bucharest French Lycée teacher Clementine Sauveur (Olivia Bonamy) lives with her bearded writer boyfriend Lucas Meclev (Michael Cohen) in the ramshackle estate. From the opening scene, we know the couple are in deep trouble. Before you can say ' low-budget home invasion horror movie' the couple is besieged in their home by strange noises, a car thief and later unseen attackers. Upon investigating the noises they are thrown into a nightmare scenario, as they fight for survival with the unseen forces. Throughout this ordeal it's suggested the invaders might be mysterious feral creatures, evil pranksters or just sicko house robbers. 

The threadbare story, two-character film held my interest for the first half hour, it then became a tiresome boring sound effect film that its ambiguous chilling surprise ending could not shake off. Though it provides no sources, Them makes claims to being loosely based on a true story. What's more certain is that it's along the lines of ‘The Blair Witch Project.’

REVIEWED ON 8/10/2009       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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