Them (2006 film)

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Them
Ilsposter.jpg
Original French poster
Directed by David Moreau
Xavier Palud
Produced by Richard Grandpierre
Written by David Moreau
Xavier Palud
Starring Olivia Bonamy
Michaël Cohen
Music by René-Marc Bini
Cinematography Axel Cosnefroy
Edited by Nicolas Sarkissian
Release dates
  • July 19, 2006 (2006-07-19)
Running time
74 minutes
Country France
Romania
Language French
Romanian
Box office $2,727,971[1]

Them (French: Ils) is a 2006 French-Romanian horror film directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud.[2] According to a title card at the beginning of the film it is "based on real events."

Olivia Bonamy plays Clementine, a young teacher, who has recently moved from France to a remote but idyllic country house near Bucharest, Romania with her lover Lucas played by Michaël Cohen.

Plot[edit]

A mother and daughter drive along a deserted country road at night and crashes their vehicle. The mother checks the engine and disappears. The daughter calls out but her call is repeated from the woods by a whispery voice. She jumps back into the vehicle, noises come from the woods and mud is thrown against the windows. The daughter attempts to call the police, but is strangled to death.

The next day, driving home from her teaching job, Clémentine passes the crashed vehicle. She is greeted at home by her lover, Lucas. After going to bed, Clémentine is awakened by the sound of music coming from outside. They investigate and see their car has been moved away from the house. As Lucas approaches it, the car is driven off. They return to their bedroom but hearing noises Lucas goes back downstairs alone to find the TV on and a tap left running. He swings a poker at the movement of an intruder and shatters the glass in a door, which is then pushed from behind, causing a large piece of glass to bury itself in his leg. He runs back up to Clémentine and the two lock themselves in the bathroom. Clémentine then climbs into the attic to find an escape route. As she searches the attic, one of the intruders grabs her from behind, but she fights him off and pushes him off a balcony. She looks over the edge and sees another figure next to the intruder's body who sees her and starts climbing up towards her. Clémentine rushes back to Lucas and they flee from the house locking the second intruder inside.

The pair escaping and limp into the woods. They are being followed and hide in some undergrowth as their tormentors run past. They head deeper into the woods, only to encounter a fence. Due to his injury, Lucas cannot climb over it. He waits behind, hiding in the bushes, as Clémentine heads for help. As she runs through the forest, Clémentine sees the light from two torches and realises they are catching up to her. She spots her abandoned car and runs to it. She tries to start the car, but to no avail. When she looks up she sees one of the hooded figures standing in front of the car.

Lucas limps from the bushes upon hearing Clémentine's screams and finds the car. He kills one of the attackers and discovers it is a teenage boy. He follows Clémentine's screams and finds an uncovered manhole. In the sewers, he finds Clémentine being tortured by another teenager while a younger boy sits nearby telling the torturer to stop as he's hurting her. Sneaking up behind him, Lucas kills the teenager. With the help of the younger boy, the two escape through the sewer system. As the attackers catch up on them, the boy turns on them, causing Lucas to fall as they try to escape up a ladder. Clémentine watches in horror as Lucas is dragged away. As Clémentine is about to kill the boy with a large rock, he turns to her and asks, "Why won't you play with us?" Clémentine throws the rock down and begins her escape through the remaining tunnels to the surface. Clémentine eventually finds a gridded sewer entrance leading out onto a highway, but the grid is locked and she is dragged off.

The film ends with shots of the countryside and a group of four hooded children emerging from the woods and running for a bus. Just before the credits roll, on-screen text explains that the bodies of Clémentine and Lucas were found five days later and that the murderers were children aged 10–15. Upon interrogation the youngest of the group revealed as an explanation of that night's events that "They wouldn't play with us."

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film has been well received internationally, and, as of 2012, has a 60% (fresh) rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "Suspenseful and tense from start to finish, the French horror film Them proves that a lack of gore doesn't mean a dearth of scares." Jonathan Ross of the BBC called the film "77 minutes of gloriously maintained tension".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]