'Them' (2006)


Them is the type of genre film that comes along every once in a while and has the critics slavering over it, so I went into seeing this flick with my skepticism radar on high. However, Them was such a tight action packed little movie, that I too began to slather. Directed by David Moreau and Xavier Palud, two up and coming French directors, the film is high on tension and low, low, low on gore. Them takes all the dread from High Tension (the 2003 horror flick also from France) and filters out the buckets of blood. Them prides itself in its ability to be fraught with danger but firmly grounded in reality.

The plot of the story is alarmingly simple for as engaging of a film as this is. A happy couple live in a large, old house in Bucharest and everything seems wonderful. The leads (Olivia Bonamy and Michael Cohen) play their roles like a real couple. They aren?t dramatic and kissy, they aren?t sweepingly romantic; they loaf about, watch a movie, and head to bed. Then they hear noises downstairs. The husband checks things out, and that?s when he meets ?Them?. I don?t want to go into much detail about the plot, because if you haven?t seen it, the twists, turns and tensions will drive you wild.

This film succeeds on so many levels. Firstly, the actors plays their roles so realistically that watching them stalked by their intruders is truly painful. You really don?t want these incredibly innocent people to be hurt. In most horror movies, the guys who get it the worst in the end are usually pricks, this couple does not by any means deserve the rough night they endure. Secondly, the tension of the film is so taut you could forget to breathe. While there is a lot of hiding/seeking, the music and atmosphere (firmly grounded in reality) keeps the audience nervous and stressed out. Finally, the film plays out in a sad, realistic way that can make the film ripe for discussion afterwards. See this with your friends, and you might just end up talking about the implications of the flick afterwards.

There?s a danger in this movie that is utterly palpable. The movement is fast, tense, and always going somewhere. If you?re into movies where you?re asked to think about how you would get out of a certain situation, Them is for you. The things that happen in this movie could very well happen to you, maybe it?s time you got prepared.

The film hit DVD from Dark Sky Films shelves March 25th, and features a few nice little extras. Included are a ?Making Of? with the directors, a special featurette on the composer of the film, and a breakdown of the construction of a key scene in the flick. All in all this DVD release feels a little slim (like a special edition is on the way), but it?s definitely worth it, for now, to pick up this great little horror movie.