Them (Ils) 2006 Review
Written by: the5thdroog
Sometimes movies can be completely spoiled by hype and anticipation. This is a movie that I’ve been wanting to see desperately for quite some time. I missed it at a couple of conventions and heard nothing but good things about it, when I wanted to listen. Most of the times I try and block out anything good or about a movie before I see it. This one couldn’t be avoided. With websites such as Ain’t It Cool News and Bloody Disgusting, which I frequent often, given it such praise I could only shield myself enough by not reading the actual reviews. I could see quotes and ratings, but no details…please. So going in I was quite excited at the hopes of experiencing something great, I wish I hadn’t.
The movie takes place in Romania. It starts out with a mother and daughter driving down a dark road arguing about petty things. Something darts in front of the car and they swerve to avoid any collision. They make contact with whatever was in the road, barely, but the defensive measure has forced them into a much more damaging stop into a power pole. After making sure each other is okay, they look back to see nothing on the road. The mom gets out and attempts to fix the car which will not start. After a few attempts at turning the engine over, the daughter waits for her mom to tell her to try again. It never comes. She gets out to discover her mother has vanished. She gets in the car and starts struggling to place a cell call. The car is then pelted with rocks and mud and she loses all focus, but not enough to realize she isn’t the only person in the car.
Next day, we are following a new teacher, Clem, who is leaving her school for home. She actually passes the car from earlier, which is now being attended to by local authorities. She gets home and finds her boyfriend, Lucas. They have a good night together in, but sometime late in the night, Clem is startled from her sleep by strange noises. She wakes up Lucas and then goes to look out the window. From the window she can see her car, but to her surprise, it isn’t in the same spot she left it. Now they both think they hear noises coming from inside and start out to satisfy their curiosity and get to the bottom of this intrusion.
The acting seems good. I could really feel for the people as they were being harassed and the “them” were done well with their sort of stoic stalking of the victims. It is often hard for me to actually say how good acting is with a foreign film because sometimes dialogue comes into play. I can at least tell you that the tones of the characters during certain situations came across just as they should.
Not a lot of gore here, but I have to mention how well the directors (David Moreau and Xavier Palud) use the effect of suspense. It was one of those movies where you know it is coming, but the director gives it just enough of a pause to make you wonder if maybe it isn’t coming before delivering the start. Also another nice job of just the over all tone and feel of the movie. You really feel like help is the furthest thing away from you while all this is taking place. Nice job.
After all of this, I have to go back to what I said before about the anticipation of a movie. Did it ruin the movie for me? Heck no. I still enjoyed it very much and will have it in my collection soon. The thing it did, and I feel I have to say this, is it maybe took away from the movie for me just a little. I mean if I’d just picked this up without any sort of expectations, this movie would’ve floored me. It is good enough to do that, but it didn’t do it for me because I guess I sort of challenged it to do so instead of getting lost in what was going on. The fact that it was inspired by true events didn’t lose any of it’s creepiness though and the summary of what happened afterwards is actually still on my mind, hours after watching it. If you get the, chance see this movie. I hope after reading this review, I’ve knocked down that excitement level for you just enough, to get knocked on your bottom when you do see this film.