Saturday, April 26, 2008

Them - A movie review

The film that terrified Europe...

Ok, with a tag line like that one, you know I had to find a copy of this movie. I walked to Target (not a long walk and with gas prices...). Nope, not in stock. I did, however, find the remake of Romero's Day of the Dead with Mena Suvari and Ving Rhames. As an aside, why all the zombie haters all of the sudden? I thought Day was getting a theatrical release ands instead it's straight to DVD! That's worse than Diary of the Dead which only played in Denver. 

Anyway, back to Them or Ils (the French title). Best Buy had copies and an ran over to get one. I then sat and waited for it to get dark. Again, with that tag line there, I needed the right atmosphere. 

The movie begins with a mother and daughter driving down the road, arguing, in Romania. The mother sees something in the street and crashes her van into a tree trying to swerve to avoid it. Of course she gets out to investigate and there is nothing there. Then, the car won't start. She gets under the hood while her daughter attempts to rev the engine. No dice. Then mom vanishes. Daughter gets out and investigates, yelling "mom" over and over until someone answers. Significantly freaked, she hops back in the car only to find that the keys are missing. She holds her hand over the door lock and tried to call the cops but gets put on hold! Then, predictably, while she was out looking for ma, one of the killers gets in the car and that's the end for daughter. All in the prologue.

Cut to Clementine and Lucas, a French couple who have been in Romania for 3 months. Clem's house just happens to be down the road from where the prologue incident occurred and she passes the accident site on her way home. The couple spend an uneventful evening together and settle down for the night. But, something wakes Clem at 3:45. Noises outside, car mysteriously sitting somewhere she didn't park it. Lucas goes to look, the car revs up aims at him a couple of times and then backs away, down the drive. They call the cops (who seem to be rather inefficient in this movie) and are told to call back in the morning regarding their stolen vehicle. Then the power goes out!

Ok, I think that's enough of a description. Sounds strikingly similar to the upcoming film The Strangers and though both movies are about a couple being harassed in their homes, and claim to be based on actual events (most likely a mish-mash of actual cases), and taking into account that I have not seen the Tyler/Speedman flick, I think that they are going to be very different outcomes. Course the outcome of Them is the creepiest aspect of the film.

Mike found it to be rather cliche, I thought it was pretty good and definitely f-ed up! Not much gore, not much blood, and it doesn't fall into the new torture porn genre either. No worries for the squeamish! Watch it in French with the subtitles!

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